American Sauce: The education problem
June 13th, 2011
11:58 AM ET
3 years ago

American Sauce: The education problem

Capitol Hill (CNN) - The candidates are talking economy, security, health care and the deficit. But we aren't hearing much about the other topic Americans say they care about the most: education.

Take a CNN/Opinion Research poll from January as proof. When asked if different issues were important for Congress and the president to tackle, more people said education was "extremely" or "very important" (83 percent) than terrorism (80 percent). And education received about the same response as health care and the budget deficit.

American Sauce:

So where are we with education policy?

Listen to this week's American Sauce, dedicated to high school and college graduates everywhere. Topics: how America's low math scores could cripple our economy (and add to our deficit) in the future, where we are with No Child Left Behind and whether every student should go to college. We talk with experts, give you the latest from Congress and interview a brutally honest 19-year-old who isn't sure that others' dreams for him to go to college make sense in the real world.


Filed under: American Sauce • Education
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Education has proven to be the key to success. It has proven time and again to be the most reliable path up the socio-economic ladder. So why are Republicans so bent on cutting dollars out of education and shifting those same dollars into tax cuts?

    I dislike charter schools, and most particularly privately operated charter schools. I do not feel the ends justify their means. I feel that all charter schools will lay the groundwork for the systematic dismantling of our public education system, which makes primary education available to all. Charter schools represent a future where education is no longer available to all, but the privilige of an entitled elite. Or those lucky enough to win a lottery, or be borne into a family wealthy enough to afford an education.

    June 13, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Peter E

    There are people in this country who believe that 'if I was never taught something, my child should not be taught that either because I don't believe it.' People say they believe in strong education and appreciate good teachers, but for far too many of them a 'good teacher' means 'teach them only what the parent knows already and believes otherwise you are undermining my control over my child. Oh, and I believe lack of quality education is a problem but I don't want to pay for it with my taxpayer dollars. I believe quality professionals, such as doctors should be motivated with money and benefits, but not teachers who should just be motivated because it's their duty to handle my spoilt child and my constant complaining. But I am willing to pay extra tax money for prisons who are populated by people who ended up there because of the lack of education.'

    June 13, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. AZ DEM

    The talk on Education needs to be the biggest discussion we as a nation have with one another. The fact that are young people are being underserved in their public schools is a crying shame and until we do something about it we will be handicapping future innovations being made right here in the US. It seems that everyone forgets that by 5th grade most Americans are lightyears behind their Asian, and many other European counterparts in math and science. I can speak personally that this is an issue that is going to start being solved with the parents becoming more engaged and STOP GIVING FUNDS BASED ON STANDARDIZED TESTS....wake up people!

    June 13, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    As with everything else in politics, people want to support noble, important, practical causes... they just don't want to pay for them.
    Support the troops! Oh but the wars cost too much. Support our senior citizens! But can we cut Medicare? Support poor children! Just not the welfare they need to live on. (fun fact: the vast majority of welfare goes to children!) We must keep American human space exploration! But cut NASA's budget. We must keep our traditional American auto-manufacturers strong! But I don't support bailouts. I want taxcuts! But I hate the bulging deficits.
    The greatest testament to us having let down education is people lack of understanding of basic logic and basic arithmetic.

    June 13, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Republican Robber Baron

    No Child Left Behind is a complete joke and waste of $. Unfunded mandates with murky guidelines and making teachers have to pay out of pocket to get continuing education left states broke. Also many teachers chose to quit or retire rather than have to lose $.

    The bottomline is that ALL Bush/Cheney programs have been a disaster. Obama has got to learn that instead of extending these failed programs, he needs to END them. NCLB, Patriot Act, Iraq, Afganistan, Gitmo – all need to be abolished!!!

    June 13, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that no one is willing to pay for it. There are also other problems that everyone has an idea of how it should be done with their own political, religious, and philosphical takes on things like how the constitution should be read and if the South had the right to susceed from the Union.

    June 13, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. reality based truth

    The bottomline is that ALL Bush/Cheney programs have been a disaster.
    ==========================================================
    Really? I haven't noticed them at any of the local school committee meeting! But have seen plenty of incompetent teachers the unions protects. Also see the iberal agenda in the clasroom, not reading writing and math. And we wonder why the scholls are failing after more and more money is thrown at them? Because the problem is NOT a lack of money.

    June 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. gt

    bottom line its about jobs... jobs... jobs... education is somewhere after food on the table and how am i going to pay the house payment.... its jobs...and by the way .. how about getting our troops home since osama is dead...

    June 13, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Phil in KC

    I find that very interesting. While I do agree that education is very important, I would rank it behind Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, health care (in general) and terrorism – in that order. But, then, I do not have children in school any longer, nor grandchildren. But I am getting closer to retirement age (10 years or less), so that probably colors my outlook.

    June 13, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Name king

    Typical rethugs will only talk about the issues that demagogue Obama, yet they won't talk about their failed policies they will recycle to finish destroying our economy in a global world. When will one of you repugs stand up and tell the repugs in congress to write a jobs bill and present it to the president to sign and stop holding this country hostage. Shh Oh, I forgot the tea baggers are watching.

    June 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. soundBitten

    Why be edumicated when yous kin just ruin for president without noing yer histery and just reent a bus and smiel at evrey body.

    June 13, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. David H.

    There was some comments about Charter Schools. They take state tax dollars from public schools. In each state, public schools are alloted a certain number of dollars set by the State Legislators. When parents choose to send their childen to a charter school, these tax dollars follow each child. Teachers in Charter Schools are not required to follow the same guidelines or accreditations that public school teachers must adhere to. More study should be given to teaching methods. All children learn at different rates and abilities. Perhaps each child should undergo a procedure called an Individual Education Plan (IEP). These are usually completed by parents and teachers for children with learning disabilities. Each child is evaluated and reevaluated as their learning progresses. Just an idea.

    June 13, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    But we aren't hearing much about the other topic Americans say they care about the most: education.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Well duh!
    RethugliKKKlans like to keep their voters dumb, pregnant, and scared.
    The candidates themselves (with the possible exception of Huntsman and the pregnancy factor) reflect their voting pool.

    June 13, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Peter E wrote: "something"
    ------------------------
    And, I am still trying to figure it out.

    June 13, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    How can people be serious about education when they look at Sarah Palin and her family as dumbing down America. To continue on this course America deserves 17th place in the World and dropping when it comes to education. Palin is like the dumb kid sitting in the classroom distracting the smart kids from getting an education and if you haven't noticed Palin never talks about education.

    June 13, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. w l jones

    Some party memember want to take us back to old farm days where whole famly work for forty dollar a plow a month and pay interest back at one hundred %on the loan and do the work also, there children uses out of date books as well half day school. Please we need foward thinking people in office. Bless.

    June 13, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. RobertCal

    Sadly, our nation lacks behind in primary and high school education, notably maths and technology, which are important for US to compete globally in the long run. Media, movie and popular cultures, favor high flying professions in Wall Street, and regards scientists and engineers as nuts.

    June 13, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Nicole Campos

    When I was child I wished I could have the opportunity to study in the States because I always had in my knowledge of the United states education system being one of the best system of education when is compare with others.I became an adult now and I had the opportunity to get close with the public education in the States and I felt very sad to be aware that the reality now is obscure.I fully agree that we should reunite our goals again in the education system.These are my prayers for the United States of America.

    June 13, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Facts, evidence, science, historical record, expert opinion...all of it tends to line up against the tried-and-true ideological world-view in which the GOP and conservatives have entrenched themselves, which is why they're on the warpath to WEAKEN our educational systems, nto strengthen them. Talking about "separation of chrch and state" and the truth of it is very inconvenient for a lot of them, for example, so we have people like the TX Board of Edumacation trying to marginalize Jefferson and Madison in history textbooks. Same with the slave trade and the causes of the Civil War. Same with the science backing up evolution and man's contribution to climate changes via pollution, etc. Massive voter turnout for Obama in 2008 from the college age crowd kicked it into overdrive and set them to thinking that they had better do more to assimilate their children as conservatives, rather than just give them information and let them decide for themselves, so of course we're hearing more about hwo there doesn't need to be national education standards and that the US Dept. of Education shouldn't exist. It's all a farce. Give the GOP their way for a few decades on education and we'll be right where they want us: third-world education levels for 80%-90% of the populace and the plutocratic elite taking advantage of them.

    June 13, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    The wealthy pay for their kids to go to the best schools, and they do NOT want to pay taxes to educate the poor or middle class children. Why should their little angels have to compete with someone smarter but comes from a poor family?

    Increase taxes on the wealthy (even if it's just closing their excessive loopholes) so that ALL AMERICANS can get a good education. If someone doesn't want to pay taxes, they can always go to Somolia (no taxes, no teachers, no roads, no police, nothing). They'll love it there.

    June 13, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. bobden

    repubs won't support public education because their masters don't want it. It's too difficult to control educated people. Educated people don't like to work for peanuts. Educated people realize that most CEO's are being paid many times their worth to the organization. That is to say, many, if not most CEO's, CFO's, COO's are stealing millions by receiving pay for jobs that they aren't doing, or don't even know how to do.

    June 13, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Back to reality

    Education? Sorry, I cannot afford to send my children off to school. The govt thinks I make too much money for grants. I'm still trying to figure that one out. With the economy the way it is and the prices skyrocketing. Folks like Rudy here want to load up their propaganda and deflect our job fears to the previous administration. Just when will the democrats be responsible? I'm betting never. Sorry, to disappoint you Rudy, but no, I really wasn't worried too much about my job until the beginning of 2009. Deflect the blame for the recession anyway you want, makes no difference to me. And the whole "saved or created jobs" bit is nothing but a sideshow act. Democrats have no excuses this time, yet they continue to blame republicans for their failings. They have had full control of the government for how many years? the results of democrats are not good. I cant help that you wont, or refuse to see it.

    June 13, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Marla

    As a former teacher, I have to agree that NCLB did much more harm than good for education in this country. I was lucky that I did not teach a "core course", so my curriculum wasn't as affected by it. I watched my poor colleagues being affected by it, though. They all had to cover the exact same things, be "on the same page at the same time" and do nothing but teach to the test all year. They lost all freedom to teach in depth on subjects in which they were experts, or in which their students were interested. The teachers were de-moralized and the students were bored. My classes were affected by the constant pre-testing and then the three weeks in the spring that were lost to standardized testing. It was very difficult to get through my curriculum with the constant interruptions.
    There has to be a better way. Perhaps the "tracking system" that worked very well for my generation just after Sputnik? I also truly feel that we need better vocational training at the high school level for those students who have already decided that college is not for them. I think that fewer would drop out, and that this would be a boost to small business, which we so desperately need right now.

    June 13, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |