The McGraw-Hill Foundation did a study entitled:  What the U.S. can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Education Reform Efforts.  As has been known, and talked about for the last few years, America’s education system is no longer the best in the world.  The better the education a nation has, the better its economy will be. 

Bringing the U.S. up to the average performance of Finland, the best performing OECD education system in PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), could result in gains on the order of $103 trillion.


Again, better educated, more money.   What do countries that have better education than the U.S. do? 

International comparisons show that in the countries with the highest performance, teachers are typically paid better relative to others, education credentials are valued more, and a higher share of educational spending is devoted to instructional services than is the case in the United States.


Teachers are not well respected in America anymore.  I remember hearing on one of the talk radio stations about how easy a teacher’s job was.  Show up at 8 teach until 3, and then leave for the day. Plus, three months off for summer.    That is what the majority of callers talked about – short hours.  Class starts at 8, a teacher has to be in the room much earlier than that.  Class may get out at three, but then there is the homework that has to be graded – which can take 2-3 hours.  Every teacher I know usually works between 9-10 hours a day.  The are days where it may only be 8.  Work comes home many times.  People who do not understand a day in the life of a teacher, cannot appreciate what a teacher does.  For those who really want to know, follow a teacher for a day.  Better yet, do it a week, mid-semester.  Read the report, and give it to someone else to read.  Maybe an outcry will come about and America will work its way back to being the number one in education.  An educated workforce is a prosperous nation.

Mark Viquesney