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Independent Task Force Report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security

Author: Anya Schmemann, Director of the Independent Task Force Program
March 20, 2012
Council on Foreign Relations


This is a guest post by Anya Schmemann on the blog, "The Water's Edge."

The Task Force report notes that many students graduating from American public schools today are not prepared to succeed:

They are not ready academically. Almost a third of college freshmen require remedial education. ACT, Inc. found that only 24 percent of high school graduates (and just four percent of African-American graduates) who took the ACT in 2010 were ready for college-level classes.

They are not ready for work. A recent survey of American employers rated 81 percent of high school graduates "deficient" in written communications, and many employers are already complaining that despite sustained unemployment, they are not able to find qualified young Americans to hire.

They are not ready for military service. In a recent report, a coalition of retired generals noted that 75 percent of American young people could not join the military because they were either physically unfit, had criminal records, or had failed to graduate from high school. Even students who did graduate from high school are not all academically fit to serve.

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