In many ways, when it comes to education stats, at least on the primary level, the United States and Canada are neck and neck. There are some areas where the United States out excels Canada and areas where Canada out excels the United States.
For this K12 Reviews article, we will focus on what the United States should borrow from Canada to improve its education system. The things that we will cover are minor tweaks that could optimize the United States education system and help their students reach a greater outcome.
Canada has more young students around the age of four and five who attend government funded pre-kindergarten programs. Education data and stats from around the world show that the sooner a child is introduced into the education center, the better that student does throughout their career as a student. Whereas Canada’s pre-K programs are universal across each province, in the US it is not.
For example, the state of Georgia in the US offers state funded pre-K programs for all students that is funded by their state’s lottery but such programs cannot be found in each state. States in the US should all adopt free pre-K programs and find unique ways to pay for them. K12 Reviews solution one.
Local Control of Education
When looking for the second factor that the US should adopt into their education system for this edition of K12 reviews, we were hesitant to list this one because of the polarization around the topic of local vs federal control of services in the US. It is easy to understand the conflict in the US due to the muddy past over equality issues and how the federal government has done a great job and solving inequality issues.
But here’s an argument for local control of education. Who better than the local school system or state government to decide what is best for their students. Not all regions have the same job opportunities or need the same skills. Standardized testing and graduating exams create a universality that isn’t needed across regions. A local school system can better decided what is best for their students than the generalized standards that the federal system mandates.
More Extracurricular And Tertiary Learning Programs
Canadian schools have far more off core learning programs than the US. US schools seem to be more focused on scoring high on standardized tests, while the Canadian system is more about providing more learning activities and creating a better citizenry.
For example, in some provinces, students take more culture related classes– anti-racism, technology, sociology, history of native people type classes.
US School System Doesn’t Teach Math Well
We are living in the age of math, science and technology, where STEM education is the buzz word thrown around as this generations key to well paying jobs. Unfortunately, out of all western nations, the US normally scores around the bottom of the pack for math and science scores. Why is this?
Canada typically ranks around 14 places in front of the US. What Canada does different is that they ingrain math into their student. Their students take more math classes than US students where US students are able to skate by on a math sparse general college prep system that turns out some of the worst math students in the western world. Avoiding math is not the answer, US students need greater exposure and better teachers.
Foreign Language Mandate
Among native born students, who are from a third generation or more family, Canadian students are more likely to be bilingual than the average American students. Speaking a foreign language is far from necessary to carve out a great career in the US but it does expand opportunities. We are living in a global community, where business is done with many cultures.
It only makes sense to position students to excel in this new world where the world is so interdependent on each other. In this world, knowing a foreign language is a bonus that will pay off monetarily, socially and intellectually.
The US Is Still King
Even with all of the deficits that the US has in education, they still produce some of the world’s biggest global brands. This is something that is much different from other western countries. Tied into America’s mythology is a strong do it yourself effort that allows people to dream and turn those dreams into reality.
What the US should focus on is giving their dreamers the skills to create even more businesses to present to the world and this is where STEM education comes in.
As you can see, there are many ways that the US should go about improving their education system and these are just a few of them.