Report warns US educational failures pose national security threat?
A new report finds that the United States' education system is putting the country's national security at risk.
The independent study, sponsored by The Council on Foreign Relations, finds K-12 school systems across the country are failing to adequately prepare kids to grow up and protect the U.S.
"For starters, we don't have nearly enough people who are capable in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math," said former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, a member of the council's task force that wrote the report, titled "U.S. Education Reform and National Security."
"When we think about the modern world of defense," Spellings said, "the fact that we don't have people who are capable to do this work is scary."
In addition to skills needed to defend ourselves in war, the study found American schools fail to teach students skills needed to avoid conflicts.
"We don't have people who know and understand foreign languages and other cultures," said Spelling, pointing out that U.S. children are ranked No. 17 in the world for language skills. "On any given day, there are hundreds of (job) vacancies for people who speak Pashtu and Arabic, and Mandarin and on and on."
The Council on Foreign Relations report was chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein.
It states America's educational failures pose five distinct threats to national security:
- Threats to economic growth and competitiveness
- U.S. physical safety
- Intellectual property
- U.S. global awareness
- U.S. unity and cohesion