Talk:Education in the United States

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Former good article Education in the United States was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Education index of 99.9[edit]

"The United Nations assigned an Education Index of 99.9 to the United States, ranking it number 1 in the world, a position it shares with about 20 other nations.[1]"

- not true, at least not true according to the link given to support this claim. Education index for the US is 0.97 (which is a good result, but not number 1 in the world).

I remove this statement until valid evidence is provided. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 28 May 2007‎ (UTC)


I would suggest adding information under curriculum issues information on the achievement gap and english language learners. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 18 January 2005‎ (UTC)

Funding for K-12 programs[edit]

This section is based off basically nothing, but cherry picked case studies and politically aligned think tanks. There is a substantial body of actual academic scholarship on this topic and it would be nice if someone who knows this subject area professionally would fix this appalling section. I have used wikipedia as an occasional jumping off point for research for over a decade and have never felt the need to make an account until I read this particular piece of uninformative at best misleading at worst summarizing of an important issue. Twainstheman (talk) 12:48, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Since I see no one has done anything about this, I'm going to go through and remove most of it. It is irrelevant to the section's topic, and is clearly politically biased. Phoniel (talk) 20:51, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Alright. I went through and fairly well gutted most of the irrelevancies. I think I did it without ideological bias, though since the section began tilting so far to the right, I certainly removed more of that than anything else. It was an extreme edit, but the material really was irrelevant to the question of funding at large. Someone who comes to Wikipedia looking for info about K-12 educational funding isn't trying to figure out that "During the 2006–2007 school year, a private school in Chicago founded by Marva Collins to teach low income minority students charged $5,500 for tuition," or that "In 2004, the U.S. Congress set up a voucher program for low income minority students in Washington D.C. to attend private schools. The vouchers were $7,500 per student per year. In 2007, Washington D.C. non-voting delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said she wanted the voucher program to be eliminated, and that the public schools needed more money."

Writing encyclopedia entries as long lists of cherry-picked examples clearly only works to push an agenda. Phoniel (talk) 21:14, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

I was curious as to where these edits had come from. Turns out the article on Marva Collins uses the exact same language. Turns out the user responsible for those edits, grundle2600, is also responsible for the irrelevant portions of this article. In addition, he or she has been banned for sockpuppetry. He or she added much of the offending material in August, 2008, and the rest in July, 2007. As I'd suspected, my deletions essentially took out his part in the article. Phoniel (talk) 21:41, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

A lot more than Marva Collins got jettisoned. The material on the much-maligned DC schools was thrown out too. That was cited in the Washington Post, hardly a bastion of conservative thinking. In fact, everything that might make the school system look overpaid and overstaffed and underperforming was thrown out under the supposition that it was entered by sockpuppet gundle2600. This seems doubtful IMO. Student7 (talk) 21:43, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it was thrown out. Not because it was unsourced, but because it had nothing to do with the topic of how K-12 schools are funded in the US. This is not a section 1) comparing standards between public and private schools or 2) examining the efficiency of public funding for education. It is a section which specifically deals with exactly how money is directed into the school system.
I will say that were it such a section, there would have to be better citation anyways, since cherry-picking news articles about dissatisfaction with this or that school-board is essentially original research. This is because the articles in question were not about problems with the school system in general, but rather dealt with specific cases. To make the general case, the original author found many such examples. But in doing so, he or she was creating a synthesis of existing data, which is prohibited by Wikipedia's rules.
Phoniel (talk) 07:14, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

American achievement "should be" like Europeans[edit]

It is politically correct to say (even brag) that we are a "Rainbow" of cultures. But when it comes to a "Rainbow" of educational achievement, suddenly those voices are muted and we are "supposed" to equal the achievement of cultures, that our culture does not represent. Why is this? Student7 (talk) 18:17, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Higher education = increased GDP?[edit]

A cited statement was inserted that reads "In an economic analysis, consulting firm McKinsey & Company reports that closing the educational achievement gap between the United States and nations such as Finland and Korea would have increased US GDP by 9-to-16% in 2008. Narrowing the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students would have added another 2-4%, while closing the gap between poor and other students would have yielded a 3-to-5% increase and that of under-performing states and the rest of the nation another 3-to-5%. In sum, McKinsey's report suggests, “These educational gaps impose on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.(cite)"

I would think, rather, that the US need people at all levels of educational attainment; that giving everyone a doctorate in whatever, would not raise GDP at all, but would simply make most people overqualified for whatever job they hold. Education is probably a great thing for 3rd world countries. But in a first world environment, it would be disruptive, expensive, and counter-productive. Another recent article claimed that only a small number of schools were "worth" attending. That it was a waste of money to attend the others; that the student would not eventually get her/his money back that s/he had invested. As extreme as this idea sounds, it seems less WP:FRINGE that the first one. Student7 (talk) 21:13, 14 May 2013 (UTC)


There was an odd section addressing the prevalence of private pre-school education. As pre-school education is otherwise not covered in this article, the theme is better addressed in Preschool education. I have removed the section. hgilbert (talk) 12:17, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with the removal of that section (which I had introduced several years ago in a different form). The reason for that was to highlight the point that preschool education in the U.S. is normally private and noncompulsory, and only kids who can qualify for Head Start get publicly-funded preschool. Several other industrialized countries (e.g., France and Germany) consider the U.S. to be rather backward on childcare issues for that reason. --Coolcaesar (talk) 02:48, 28 June 2013 (UTC)


The article and the paragraph "English in the Classroom" pass over in silence the fact that anyone speaking any language except English was severely punished in America for a long time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:51, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

A similar policy was used to suppress non-English languages in Britain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Size of national education budget?[edit]

I was looking at the infobox, where it says that as of 2007, $16 billion was the total expenditure on all forms of education in the U.S. But the linked document doesn't validate that. I think the decimal point is in the wrong place and that as of 2009, the annual expenditure was actually $1.093 trillion (not billion). That figure includes collegiate-level spending. The Federal Education Budget Project says, "America spends over $500 billion a year on public elementary and secondary education in the United States". Leslie Graves (talk) 19:45, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Student Health[edit]

This section in the article seems to be particularly brief. It only addresses weight statistics. It should be expanded to include more topics, and maybe also to discuss the impact of health on education, the spread of communicable diseases, etc. in the country. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:53, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Please review and develop the new Elementary school (United States) article[edit]

I have created a new article, Elementary school (United States) based on content from Primary education, Primary education in the United States and this article. I am not from the USA and know little about your schools, but it was clear to me that an article on this subject was notable following a discussion on talk:Elementary school. Please review and develop this article. PeterEastern (talk) 17:51, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

OECD PISA scores are an unmitigated disaster[edit] What to include here? EllenCT (talk) 03:54, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Here is a story appearing a few months earlier in USA Today emphasizing that adults are suffering too. A selection of their letters to the editor. And here is Education Week's response. I propose that we also include a summary of the class size ratio changes in public schools over the past century. EllenCT (talk) 00:08, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Headings and ordering[edit]

I have reworked to headings into a structure which should be clear, and have done a small amount of reordering (to keep K-12 funding with K-12 etc). I haven't added to removed any content. PeterEastern (talk)

Military recruitment[edit]

What should the article say about e.g. ? I propose that we summarize it. EllenCT (talk) 23:56, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Seems like WP:SOAPBOX. Do we want old people to defend the nation? Germany tried and failed at the end of WWII. Don't know any nation that has been successful with that formula. Student7 (talk) 22:25, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
@Student7: why not recruit young people by improving the esteem in which the forces are held by improving the merits of their missions, instead of forcing their local governments to make them see recruiters? EllenCT (talk) 03:14, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Seems WP:FRINGE and WP:SOAPBOX IMO. Advocacy group. Student7 (talk) 20:57, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
That's the advocacy group for the branch of the military charged with improving public health. If you say they are to fringe, then what source would you use to describe that aspect of US public schools? EllenCT (talk) 00:31, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Clearly neither a fringe group nor a special interest advocacy group, it's a well-established professional organization of those working in the field of health, and thus-IMHO-very citeable indeed. HGilbert (talk) 04:46, 26 January 2014 (UTC)