America Falling: Longtime Dominance in Education Erodes

Across the United States, higher education is tightening budgets while Singapore and many Asian countries are investing more money into their systems and into research. Experts consider the withdrawal of funds poor timing since 13 percent of European students and 20 percent of students in Asia major in engineering compared with only 4 percent of American students. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks 10th in the number of 25 to 34-year-olds who hold at least an associate degree.

The “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report, produced by a national panel, warns that America is falling behind other countries in science and technology. Panelist, Mr. Vest, believes higher education stimulates the economy and worries that the United States won’t take action until it’s too late. “Look what happened in the manufacturing sector when the Japanese got serious,” he says. “We’ve only partially caught up.”

According to the article below, the United States has benefited from the educational advances of other countries since half of all students who earn doctorates in major science and technology fields come from overseas and one quarter of the faculty members of American colleges today are foreign-born. But as other countries improve their education systems, more top performing international students may decide to remain in their native countries. Not to mention the decline in performance of American high-school students. In 2004, half of “highly qualified” in math low-income high-school seniors enrolled in a four-year institution, 20 percentage points lower than the Class of 1992.

Many experts believe the U.S. could benefit from adopting the mindset of foreign countries desperately trying to improve their educational systems as a way of sparking economic growth. And while the 50 individual state legislations governing education makes it difficult to assess the national impact of current educational standards, everyone seems to agree that an overarching ministry of education, like those seen in Asia, is not a good fit with Americans.

Note:  Carol Carter gives keynote speeches and session presentations here in the US and overseas to gain insights on learning-based standards and to share her expertise. Here is Carol’s itinerary for this Fall:

October 14
The Tri-Association: Latin America and the Caribbean
Keynote: The New Global Competition for Talent
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

October 29 and 30
Florida School Counselor Association
Keynote: Counselors as Leaders
Location: Orlando

November 4-7
American Business Communications
Three presentations on coaching and professional skills
Location: Portsmouth, VA

November 13
Utah School Counselor Association
Keynote: Counselors as Coaches
Location: Salt Lake City

November 19-21
European Council of International Schools

Due to scheduling conflicts, Carol’s co-author on the Critical and Creative Thinking book, Maureen Breeze, is presenting three presentations in her place on coaching and critical and creative thinking skills.
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Chronicle of Higher Education
by Karen Fischer

Henry T. Yang, a prominent engineer, is one of a half-dozen American academics and entrepreneurs who sit on an international panel that advises Singapore’s government on its higher-education and research efforts. At its last meeting, the group reviewed plans for a new public university, the country’s fourth.

Back at home, where Mr. Yang has been chancellor of the University of California at Santa Barbara since 1994, the situation is one of contraction, not expansion. Facing the deepest state-budget cuts in decades, public-university officials in California have slashed salaries, furloughed employees, and reduced enrollments.

To view entire article visit

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