What We’re Watching: Education Could Be ‘Greatest National Security Challenge’
While the struggles of the U.S. education system are a regular topic of conversation and concern, a new report frames the risk in a global context, linking education to national security interests. The report was issued by the Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security organized by the Council on Foreign Relations.
In this PBS interview, the co-chairs of the task force, Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein, discuss the dangers of a poor education system.
According to Rice:
“When it comes to the very tangible assets that the United States needs to defend itself, the education of people who can be soldiers, too many people can’t qualify for military service….Then, of course, there’s the matter of the competitiveness of our economy, people who can fill the jobs and be the innovators of the future, so that the United States maintains its economic edge, and then finally the matter of our social cohesion. The United States, we’ve always been held together by the belief that it doesn’t matter where you came from. It matters where you’re going… [and] without education, we cannot maintain that cohesion.”
Of the current state of education in the nation, Rice says:
“Today, the sad fact is that, for the children who have the fewest options, the educational system is not delivering. If I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you’re going to get a good education, we’ve got a real problem.”
The transcript of the interview can be found here.
Read the Council on Foreign Relations task force report here.
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