The current debate among education experts is based not on whether our education systems are broken or not. But rather the debate as gravitated toward discussing the comparison of public day schools versus independent schools. Experts are concerned with the drop in US rankings in key subjects such as math and science; losing ground on countries in Asia and Europe. This has been exacerbated by unemployment figures that point to a problem where there is not a lack of jobs but rather a lack of individuals qualified for the available jobs. Such is the case with many engineering and technical careers and many believe this will lead to more outsourcing as companies continue to recruit candidates from overseas. But what is the cause of this educational drop off?
Many have blamed the strain on our public education system as the root problem of our failing day schools. The answer would therefore lie in investing more in private high schools, but there are other factors at play. Socio economic factors have a larger effect on academic performance than merely which day schools our students go to. The argument says that private Christian schools have more academic success because they have a higher percentage of students that come from families of means. The introduction of voucher programs have enabled students of lower economic means access to private high schools and the Christian education system, such as Norfolk private schools. Yet access to these day school programs alone do not improve performance.
The most important factor in determining a students’ academic success lies in their parents abililty to support these pursuits. The education system in America revolves around a day school template that only effects what the students do while actually in school. The factors that go outside of the classroom have a more profound effect on a student’s learning magnitude. This is not to say that one day school is better than another; it is to introduce the idea that blaming the education system for failing our kids is not entirely correct. Our own abilities to provide an environment conducive to learning is what is causing the American education system to fail.