20/20: Stupid in America Update: 9/1/06
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Stupid in America' explores whether kids in the United States are being cheated out of a quality education.
American high school students fizzle in international comparisons, placing well behind other countries, even poorer countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and South Korea. American kids do pretty well when they enter public school, but as time goes on, they do worse. Why? School officials complain that they need more money, but as John Stossel reports, most of the countries that outperform us spend less per student than we do.
There are many factors that contribute to failure in school, but according to some, foremost is the government's monopoly over the school system, which means that most parents don't get to choose where to send their children.
In other countries, choice fosters competition, and competition improves performance. Stossel questions government officials, union leaders, parents and students. He also examines how the educational system can be improved and reports on innovative programs across the country.
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