American athletes just finished competing in Sochi with top athletes from around the world. As U.S. competitors give their very best, our nation rallied behind them. What if we could drive the same effort and ambition towards our competitiveness in education? We have a long way to go -- and need a disciplined, focused training plan -- but there is hope to take gold again.
Over the past several weeks, two headlines were published that should put our nation’s education system on high alert, but so far they have not: China Lands Its First Unmanned Probe on the Moon: progress comes as the U.S. scales back its space ambitions. And, U.S. students still only average on tests: American high school students still post only average scores on a key skills test administered to kids in 65 countries across the industrialized world.
At the same time, a disturbing new poll from Pew reveals that for the first time in over a generation, a majority of Americans believe “the United States plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago.”