June 14 Event to Analyze National Security Implications of Poor Education
On June 14, the Business Education Network (BEN), will host an event titled, A Smarter America = A Safer America, to discuss and analyze a report released in March by The Council on Foreign Relations titled, U.S. Education Reform and National Security.
The report was written by a task force of business leaders, education experts, and national security authorities. Led by former Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren and Former Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, the task force concluded that human capital is the nation’s most important asset and the failure to have a highly-educated workforce puts our physical safety at risk.
Some of the findings and their implications that will be discussed at the event include:
- 15-year-old U.S. students rank 14th in reading, 25th in math, and 17th in science compared to students in other industrialized countries.
- More than 25% of students fail to graduate from high school in four years.
- 43% of college freshman need to take remedial courses.
- Although the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, a decreasing number of institutions are teaching foreign languages and roughly eight in ten Americans only speak English.
The task force argues that students need the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard America. According to the report, “large, undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy, and grow its economy.”
The collision of education and national security also impacts that ability for the military to recruit qualified candidates, stating that the military is struggling to recruit the 25% of kids who drop out of high school due to reasons including criminal records, lack of physical fitness, and yes—poor education. In addition, 30% of those who graduate can't pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery, due to a lack of understanding of math, science, and English.
The U.S. State Department and intelligence community continue to have a difficult time filling positions in critical areas of the world due to a workforce that lacks necessary foreign language skills.
The reality is that we live in an ever increasing inter-connected world and it is vital that our education system prepare students to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Unfortunately, the status quo won’t get them there. To join the conversation and register for the June 14th event click here.