As if we haven't gotten enough bad news lately about the ineffectiveness of America's education system, we now find out that nearly 25 percent of high school graduates who take the military entrance exam can't pass it.
According to a recent report from the Education Trust, a national organization that promotes academic excellence from pre-K through college, young military recruits can't correctly answer basic math, reading and science questions. This has military leaders worried that the number of Americans eligible for military service will dwindle, putting our national security at risk.
This is just more bad news for the country's education system which ranks 14th on a list of 34 developed countries for reading skills, 17th for science and 25th for math. On an international scale, our students are being outpaced by their counterparts in Europe and Asia and, as a nation, we've yet to develop a system that allows our students to compete.
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama challenged not only Congress but also the country as a whole, imploring us to do a better job of educating our students and preparing them for a life past high school. He called for expanded educational funding and greater parent involvement. Though he didn't necessarily speak about teacher accountability — teachers unions fund campaigns at high dollar amounts so that's a touchy political subject — we know this area needs to be addressed as well.
If we don't invest more money and time in educating our young people, we'll continue to lose jobs to countries that better prepare their students for the workforce. Now, we have the added worry of the impact our sub-par schools will have on our ability to protect ourselves as a nation.
Improving the national education system is a priority for this country; our status as a world power — both economically and militarily — depends on our ability to do better by our students.
Greg Mathis, a national figure known for his advocacy campaigns for equal justice, rose from street youth to judge. He hosts the television court show Judge Mathis.