Make Schools, Not War
In a New York Times op-ed, Nicholas Kristof argues that "for roughly the same cost as stationing 40,000 troops in Afghanistan for one year, we could educate the great majority of the 75 million children worldwide who, according to Unicef, are not getting even a primary education." And over in a Forbes Magazine commentary, Mark Rice makes a similar case for budgeting education:
Imagine the possibilities if the U.S. spent even 1% more on education. With an annual federal budget of close to $3 trillion, a 1% increase would amount to $30 billion. An annual infusion of $30 billion directly into public K-12 education could go a long way toward rebuilding or rehabilitating crumbling school buildings, guaranteeing an adequate supply of up-to-date textbooks, supplying districts with computers and computer upgrades, installing smart boards for classrooms, stocking quality science labs and revitalizing programs in music, art and drama.
America's Dropout Crisis
"Every single school day, more than 7,200 kids, on average, drop out of high school — 1.3 million each year," reports The Daily Beast. "Just 15 percent of American high schools — known in the education world as 'dropout factories' — produce more than half of American dropouts, and three-quarters of black and Latino dropouts." Surveying school districts nationwide, TDB also compiled a list of the 10 Worst Dropout Cities, including Bakersfield, Calif.; McAllen, Texas; and Augusta, Ga.
Fixing Our Education System
The Wall Street Journal's Alan Murray asked a panel of education experts, "What will it take to get the American system up to the level of some of the other developed countries in terms of math and science education?" With answers ranging from better teacher recruitment and retention to fundamentally changing the competition between schools and school districts, the entire discussion is worth a read.