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August 24th, 2012
03:37 PM ET

A failure to educate

Education is vital for America's economic security, but American high school students aren't ready for college or careers.

A new report this week found 28% of high school graduates who took the ACT didn't meet college readiness benchmarks in English, Reading, Math or Science. Just 25% met the benchmarks in all four subjects. That's a slight improvement from four years ago, when just 22% of students met all four benchmarks. The ACT report also notes that student scores in Math and Science have improved, but the numbers are still nowhere close to where they should be.

U.S. businesses are feeling the effects. Even with 12.8 million Americans looking for a job, industry leaders say they can't find workers with the right skills. Businesses are importing foreign workers - and they would import even more if the U.S. government would let them. According to data from the Brookings Institution, U.S. companies applied for an average of 294,108 H-1B visas between 2010 and 2011. The U.S. government caps the number of available visas at 85,000 each year (exceptions apply for educational and non-profit institutions).

Survey of School Administrators

– Increased class sizes: 54%
– Eliminated summer school programs: 22%
– Reduced non-academic programs: 35%
Source: American Association of School Administrators

While other countries are busy producing engineers and doctors, the U.S. is partying. This week, The Princeton Review released its annual ranking of the top party schools. Another survey found that American college students who binge drink are happier than those who don't!

At least those kids are in college! What are we doing to get everyone else there?

We already know that 312,700 local school jobs have been lost in the last 3 years. More than half of school administrators say class sizes are getting bigger. They are cutting back summer school and non-academic programs.

Don't miss Your Bottom Line next week (September 1st at 9:30a ET). Christine will sit down with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to find out how he plans to fix America's school system.

Filed under: Educating America
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