Many states are balking at implementing the NGSS, which is designed to help the US catch up with the rest of the world in Science education.
Sitting around 26th place is not good for a nation that once boasted the top position. Yet many states are not willing to agree to the NGSS implementation in all schools. There needs to be a national, high level science curriculum if the nation wants to get back among the top players. Also, it does appear that the Scandinavian model is a great model, and yes, adopting the Metric System may be the way to go, for global uniformity. Being the only player in the field wearing the wrong uniform is getting embarrassing.
Yes, american education sucks. The scandinavian model is one of the most successful in the world. I can´t say that about american schools.
Here in Switzerland schools are also a lot better than in the US.
America sucks in a lot of things so it should absolutely try to approach Europe.
Schools need to step up their game and they are working on it. Meanwhile organizations like FIRST and VEX are making a whole new generation of great thinkers and doers (mainly engineers) in an attempt to change the face of our society from Sports to Smarts. Now we just need to get parents to step up and take up their role as educators, to stop relying on schools to raise their children.
Last thing, just a personal thing. I'm getting tired of using SAE and i'm really getting tired of converting SAE to Metric. The metric system is beautiful and it's time to get on board.
America should also go through a cultural reform, rejecting cultures that promote crime and disobedience and promote an honor and humanitarian system. Indeed, the US dropout rate is relatively high for a Great Power. If America actually wants to keep Great Power status for generations to come, it will need to strengthen the foundation of the tower of power: Education.
People will always rant about how lacking the U.S. schools are or the U.S. education system and usually their argument involves something along the lines of: (Example) China's students are all exceeding and America is all the way down there, so obviously the U.S. education system is screwed up.
While that is true, America's education system is a bit screwed up, that is not to say that no other country's education system is perfect either. I'm absolutely positive that people who will try to argue that China is so far ahead of U.S. are nine times out of ten forgetting the whole "equal opportunities" thing that makes America's education special. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the U.S. has a flawless education system and that every single student gets an absolutely equal opportunity to education because that would be a flat out lie -- there are a lot of holes in that promise. However, I will sit here and tell you that China and a lot of other A-List test-scoring countries provide a little bit less than equal opportunity education for students. In fact, many students in Asian countries are dropped out of the system completely if they do not meet certain guidelines in intellectual ability.
That means that if they don't think you're smart enough, they will stop educating you all together. So that should provide you with a pretty solid reason why China's students score so much higher than American students or other students. Many of these students (I won't say all, because again there are always exceptions and I must leave room for my human error) are some of the best of the best, the ninety percentile because they're the ones who have received the premium education.
America, on the other hand, educates students of all kinds. That includes mentally and physically handicapped students, kids with disorders, autism, etc. It is just unrealistic to expect students like those to score as high as the ones who are testing impossible scores in the countries that we are most commonly compared to. I'm sure we aren't the only country to educate such people, but many people forget to factor that in when the topic of the US's less than perfect test scores come into question. It is like apples and oranges, you just can't begin to compare two systems that are internally so different from one another.
Naturally, America has a long, long, LONG way to go before they are even close to perfect. The education system is highly flawed and is in dire need of reform in many aspects. However, it is just unrealistic to compare America to "Finland, Japan, China, etc...." because they are just too different in nature and design.