In the past decade, national security has always been intrinsically associated with defense expenditures and counter-terrorism. From 9/11 until now, our government’s resources have been heavily focused towards the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, counter-terror operations, and spreading our citizen’s tax dollars to aid other countries around the world. What good has this done? Ironically when President Bush came into office in January of 2001, one of the centerpieces of his administration was supposed to be education. However, the events of September 11th changed all of those plans. Over a decade later, U.S students rank fourteenth in reading, twenty-fifth in math, and seventeenth in science compared to other industrialized nations.
Although President Bush attempted reform through the No Child Left Behind Act, which measured basic skills usually through state assessments, the legislation has backfired across the nation and America’s students have suffered. In order for public schools to receive federal funding, students must meet standards set by the Department of Education. This has led to schools, especially in poorer areas of the country, basing their curriculums around “teaching the test,” so to speak. Furthermore, there have been widespread cases across the country of teachers changing student’s answers. In Atlanta, Georgia alone, there were more than 150 teachers across 44 school districts changing answers to boost test scores. The children of our nation are not receiving the education they deserve, and this poses a threat to national security.
Over fifty years ago, we had some of the brightest university students working for the federal government to create a nuclear deterrent in the Cold War. Now, according to a report from the “not-for-profit” testing service ACT, only 22 percent of U.S high school students meet college ready standards1. This, compared with the 157,000 Chinese students, 107,000 Indian students, and 72,000 South Korean students coming to American universities. It should come as no surprise then that these nations have some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and that Chinese experts hack American institution’s networks for valuable intelligence with ease. China stands to change the dynamics of geo-politics and is a direct threat to US global hegemony. There used to be a time when experts like Albert Einstein and Vernon von Braun gave the U.S technological and academic superiority over the rest of the world. Now, our national security is threatened by expanding economies and militaries of East Asia.
Our global competitors come to the United States of America to take advantage of some of the greatest universities in the world. Upon graduation, they take their skilled human capital back to their countries. The leaders in Washington need to stop throwing away money at programs like unemployment insurance for those who are too lazy to work, and reinvest in America’s future. If we don’t, who knows, in twenty years we could become a second rate power. As the great T.I.P. says “Get your $*** Together.”
 Klein, Joel I. Rice,Condoleeza. U.S Education Reform and National Security. Council on Foreign Relations. March 2012.
 Osunsam, Steve. Atlanta Cheating: 178 Teachers and Administrators Changed Answers to Increase Test Scores. ABC News. 6 July 2011
 Mellman, Ira. Chinese Tops List of International Students in US. Voice of America. 14 November 2011.
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