By ANGELA XU
As of today, the United States has some of the most high school dropouts in the world and our education system has failed the brilliant and curious minds of many teenagers. Can this change by reforming the United States’ education system to something similar to Europe's education system?
According to the National Care on Education and the Economy organization (NCEE) the United States has fallen behind many countries when comparing high school graduation rates. Among these countries are European countries such as Finland, New Zealand and the Netherlands. These top performing European countries have built education systems that led their students to perform better at school and come out with better results when compared to American students.
Therefore, the United States should adopt an education system that is similar to European countries.
Currently, some European countries have a system called the dual education system. The dual education system provides students with the opportunity to apply the subjects they have learned in school to real life scenarios. By letting their students experience apprenticeships, they not only gain real life experiences, but also work in subjects that they actually enjoy. On the other hand, the United States is more likely to lay emphasis on academics and are unable to help students make connections to what they are learning in school to real life scenarios like the dual education system does. With the dual education system, students are able to have a choice as to what they might want to look into in the future which the United States does not have this option available for students which may not spark much interest in learning.
However, the United States offers many classes in hopes to make up for this and among them include classes known as Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The AP courses let students take higher level courses during high school and allow students the ability to earn college credit. However, in order to earn these college credits students not only need to pass the class with a passing grade, but they also must take an exam at the end of the year through an organization known as College Board. This is the same organization that also administers the SAT exams, which are tests that are also taken for the sake of applying to colleges. As stated before, the American education system is far more focused on academics than anything else which distorts the purpose of education itself, which is to prepare these students for the real world and help them become functional members of society. This purpose is what the European dual education system hopes to fulfill; nevertheless, the American education system focuses on a totally different aspect.
Another con of the American education system is how the price of education becomes even more expensive when students start to attend college. The European education system charges a much cheaper amount for college tuition because European universities do not have dormitories and they have affordable and accessible transportation, both of which lower the cost of school. This can help save a good amount of money for America college students since many live on-campus, some even all four years. This could also be a factor as to why so many American students do not continue with their college studies as it is very expensive. According to the College Board, the average yearly tuition for a private four year college costs about $32,410. Therefore, it is much cheaper to study in an European country than it is to study in the United States.
Some may argue that the United States has a better education system than European countries because the American education system is able to cater to many as the United States offers students the opportunity to attend public schools. However, many other countries also give students the opportunity for public education, it’s not just the United States. As stated before, when students start to attend college, the prices for education increase exponentially, especially if the student is attending an ivy league college.
Overall, if possible, the United States should try to change their education system to something similar to Europe’s education system.