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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view DanielParis's profile
    Posted April 10, 2012 by
    Caimbridge, Massachusetts
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    iReport Debate: What’s your top issue?

    Dedication to Education


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     DanielParis went from high school dropout to Ivy League student and says education is 'the underlying solution to how our country can compete in the economically globalized world market.' He voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but says, 'I do not believe that Obama has stood by his convictions or that he has made a significant positive impact on education (especially special education).' He plans to support GOP candidate Mitt Romney in November.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    Nearly 30 years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education addressed the erosion of the educational system in the United States of America and proclaimed that the country’s mediocrity would threaten the future of its people and its standing as a world power. As a result, our country has pushed for educational reform by increasing the rigor of school curriculum, stressing the importance of standardized testing, and raising expectations and demands of students and teachers. In addition, the charter school movement has spread rapidly and laws such as No Child Left Behind Act have been implemented. However, these educational reforms, as much as some have been praised, have not significantly raised standardized test scores or increased graduation rates across the nation. In fact, over the past 30 years, the National Center on Education and the Economy reports that many countries have surpassed the United States with the proportion of their entering workforce having a high school diploma, and many more are on the verge of doing so. 30 years ago, the United States also represented 30 percent of the world’s population of college students, a number that has fallen to only 14 percent, and is expected to continue to decline. Whether our country would like  to admit it or not, in this globalized and competitive market, we are  being out-worked and out-educated. This trend threatens the future of  our economy and our standing as a world power. As a current student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, I have had the opportunity to learn about many brilliant and successful reform efforts implemented by states, individual school districts, and non-profits. Unfortunately, most of these efforts, such as the Expanded Learning Time Initiative in Massachusetts, are limited in the number of schools they can impact because of the lack of funding in education. Any politician will tell you that the best financial investment we can make as a nation is an investment in our children and in our future, but actions speak much louder than words. I will go to the polls this year looking for the candidate who I believe will dedicate the most to the education of America.

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