This transcript is automatically generated
In focus tonight our education system.
Americans keeping their eyes glued to the Olympics is -- Franklin Michael Phelps and others given their all to bring the gold home.
But my next guest is wondering why that competitiveness that we see on television is missing from our education system.
Michelle -- is the founder of students first and former DC public schools chancellor.
She joins me now Michelle welcome back to the show great to have you here I want to start by showing some of this videos of people get a sense of it.
Thank -- considering the.
Michelle obviously this guy is not good for prime time what's the point in this video.
-- listen for a time of incredible patriotism for this country with the Olympics are young people are going out there competing with the rest of the world and they're winning they're showing that we are.
Absolutely dominant and number one which makes -- incredibly proud as a country.
I think that that if you look at our education system that we're nowhere close to that we rank 25 out of 34 nations.
In the math achievement of our kids I think a lot of people don't understand and know that what we have to do is begin to focus.
On the academic achievement levels of our children in the same way that we focus.
On the their competitiveness and -- -- Olympics and if we could do that then I am very very confident that America can be than the best in the world.
Well you -- 25 in math were also seventeenth in science fourteenth and reading literacy.
Why can we make traction here and -- why does it take.
So long laws get passed congress have you know -- to speeches a lot to press conferences nothing goes forward why.
Well you know a bit the status quo is very powerful and lots of people want to maintain the current systems because it's comfortable for them quite frankly.
When we think about what it's gonna take to change the circumstances.
We actually can't point to one -- there's no one silver bullet no -- light switch that we can.
Flick that's gonna make our education system better but what we do know is that -- every child has a great teacher.
In front of them every single day in their classroom when families have choices when work.
Using our dollars towards the things that are gonna -- have the most impact on our kids that that can really change the game.
For our children and so.
You know the problem is that some of those policies and changing some of those laws.
Is counter to what the status quo wants to maintain -- -- -- fight very very also Michelle that we typically define.
What's good for education and what makes it better is spending more money and that may not be true.
It is absolutely not compare the singular problem I mean if you look in this country over the last two to three decades we have.
More than doubled almost tripled the amount of money that we are spending per child on public education.
And yet the results have remained absolutely stagnant and I think the American taxpayers now understand.
That the age old argument that we need more money in order to fix the system.
Is actually not right not sir I don't need to focus on -- -- that's right where we're spending this money because so much of it gets spent in bloated bureaucracies of things that don't have.
Any kind of a real impact on kids.
Rubber rooms here in New York or replace teachers who -- in -- -- get paid for doing now that -- I -- talk a little bit about the gender gap you -- math and science clearly young women and girls in schools.
They cannot -- -- -- math and science in as a matter of fact 24% of women.
-- in math and science jobs now this wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that these are really lucrative jobs and jobs -- well we want to see women get these two.
What -- education due to start sending women down that track.
Well there are a lot of things that we can do first weekend we can focus on the issue -- understand that.
It's a problem and we need to develop programs that specifically geared -- words.
Ensuring that -- kids have a girls have more access.
To high quality math and science programs.
We need great math and science teachers we've seen over and over again that this there's a shortage of of people who have the content knowledge necessary to really make math and science come alive.
And and I think the other thing that we need do is -- what they're learning in the classroom to children understanding what the job prospects look at like out there.
We want to make sure that kids understand.
I understand that piece of it that if you wanna be successful in life if you wanna have those high paying jobs here of the fields that they're going to be and in the next and in the next generation.
Well we all -- plumbers and electricians if -- know the answer to that question twenty years ago.
We -- -- coming on today it's a pleasure to see you always great to have you on thank you so much.