A recently released report has some sobering news for American parents. Children in the U.S. are falling further behind world standards in education. Some of that may be due to an increasing focus in other nations, but it's alarming that the American system isn't able to keep pace.
LZ Granderson writing on CNN's blog makes this point:
"In the span of one generation, we've fallen from first to ninth in the proportion of young people with college degrees, which I guess isn't a total surprise considering newly released ACT scores revealed that only one high school graduate in four in the class of 2011 could meet the benchmarks for college readiness in all four core subjects.
Combine that with our global ranking of 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math, and it would seem our education standing is in far worse shape today than our basketball footing was in 1988.
But instead of our educational equivalent of a Jordan or Magic putting their egos aside for the sake of the country, we have teacher unions fighting politicians and poor districts facing even deeper cuts.
In other words, we're closer to the Bad News Bears than any Dream Team when it comes to education."
The Church has a role to play as advocate for children in society. Especially so because the poorest and the most marginal of children are the most likely to not be given the sort of education that is essential for the citizens of a successful democracy.
What about the education of the young within the Church though? Are we keeping pace? As the economy has continued to sputter here in Arizona, one of the most common responses congregations seem to be making it to let their Christian Educators go. It appears that children's christian formation is being seen as an option rather than a necessity.