Wallowing in Mediocrity: Or Rising Above the Dismal State of Education provides a comprehensive comparative look at educational programs in several key countries across the globe. The myriad advantages of these countries’ programs are counterpoised to the many fault lines in education as practiced in the United States. To offset these problematic areas, this book takes a critical look at how the United States could rectify the many problems associated with its system of education, especially concerning inefficient and unsustainable practices at the secondary and postsecondary levels.
Examples include the lack of universally-accepted parameters for admission to most schools of higher education; the lack of exit exams from both secondary and post-secondary schools; the illogical repetition of propaedeutic courses the first two years at the university; the misdirection of community colleges, forcing them to make up for the shortfall of too many students not prepared for acceptance to a 4 year university; the shenanigans associated with for-profit schools, which, for the most part, prey on veterans and those seeking a better job through education; and the almost preposterous system in place for students to finance their education.
Most of these shortcomings concerning the American educational system are not part and parcel of systems across the globe. For one, the Bologna Process unified degrees among participants, providing a logical means for member states to collaborate and, most important, to provide students the opportunity to transfer from one institution to another without penalty. Several countries do not charge any tuition whatsoever; others have established a fair and logical means for repayment.
Jerald Goldstein has taught in both university and corporate settings, both in Germany and the United States. He has taught communication, comparative literature, English, and German for several universities, including Rutgers, The New School, NYU, Princeton, and the Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, Germany.
SECTION I. Wallowing in Mediocrity: The Problem with the US Education System
Chapter 1. Problems Besetting Both Secondary and Higher Education
Chapter 2. Higher Education: Inefficiency Redefined (An Overview of the Multifaceted Problems Endemic to the United States)
SECTION II. A Possible Paradigm: Detailed Description of Higher Education in Select Countries Throughout the World
Chapter 3. How Standards are Implemented in Most Advanced Successful Global Education Systems: How Advanced Countries in Europe and Asia Provide a More Meaningful Educational Platform at All Levels, But Especially Post-Secondary
Chapter 4. How All This Plays Out in Advanced Effective Programs Across the Globe
SECTION III. Best Practices: How the United States can Emulate Countries with Effective Programs
Chapter 5. Adopting and Implementing the Best Practices and Methods used in Effective Educational Programs Across the Globe
Chapter 6. A Meaningful Role for the Community College
Chapter 7. Accommodating Those Interested in Working for Industry and/or the Government
Chapter 8. Regulating through Meaningful Legislation
Chapter 9. Making College Affordable
SECTION IV. Conclusion: Positive Moments to be Realized in Creating Meaningful Degrees
Chapter 10. In Retrospect: Creating Meaningful Degrees
About the Author
Goldstein summarizes and analyzes educational systems in European and other countries to offer solutions to many of the problems of the U.S. post-secondary system. His book explains how our current fragmented approaches generate students who are under-prepared and poorly trained yet become mired in debt.
In Wallowing in Mediocrity: Or Rising Above the Dismal State of Education, Jerald Goldstein offers a comprehensive critique of America’s educational system and its inability to provide all students with a quality education. His analysis will prove thought-provoking to both fans and foes of that system. But it is Goldstein’s detailed argument why America should adopt and implement the best practices and methods of other countries that will surely spur needed dialogue and debate about the kind of radical changes needed to fix the failings of American education.