Letter to the Editor: The United States’ Faltering Education System

Good Afternoon,

I am a student from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and am emailing you today in regards to the education dilemma that now faces our country. A peer of mine just completed a project on U.S. education and how it ranks in comparison to other countries. This was done by observing the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores and observing where the U.S. and other countries ranked.

Scores from 2012 show that the U.S. ranked below average in both math and science, integral subjects to the STEM push that California and the nation are pushing for. This makes me believe that a new vivor and focus be placed on education, primarily young STEM education. Innovative new teaching methods that develop critical thinking, problem solving, goal setting, and social skills will improve our society and skill set as a nation.

In an increasingly globalized society, it is important to know relatively where one stands. This is increasingly true in the case of the U.S., where we consider ourselves a global super power. To stay competitive and to keep progressing at a rapid pace, we must make a conscious effort to implement a culture change in the American society that values education, mentorship, challenge, and constant learning.

Not only will this help progress the American society, but this will also be an investment in the future of our nation. The previous success that the U.S. has enjoyed is largely due to the older generation of Americans. For future Americans to attain the same, if not more success, is to have a solid foundation. This can be achieved through improved education.

This issue is important to me because I am a student coming from the small agricultural community of the Imperial Valley where advanced education was not a priority. I am fortunate enough to have gained acceptance into UCSD to pursue my dream of becoming an engineer, and can only hope that others can have the same opportunity.

The skills I have learned throughout my education, especially at UCSD, have given me the skills and assets I need to be successful in life after college, the career market, social advancement, scientific progress, and further education. I am now able to be a contributing member of society, able, willing, and ready to tackle the problems of today and tomorrow.

With the older generations time sadly running out, it is time for us to make an investment in our future now, and make education, primarily STEM, a priority in our society.

Keegan Cervantes