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How Badly Is our Public School System Failing Us?

"In Arizona, the average high school graduation rate was 74% in the 2019-2020 academic year (though interestingly the state (AZ) also had more high schools ranked in the top 100 than any other state. Apr 26, 2022


That leaves a 26% dropout rate. There are many reasons for this. Two primary ones: First, students see no point to what they are studying - a problem Paradigm Learning Microschools directly confronts. Second, students drop out because they have to get jobs to help support their families. This only serves to perpetuate the problem.

"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is comprised of 35 countries, most of which are from Europe. OECD compiles educational data from nations across the globe. According to their latest report, the United States was one of only five countries in the OECD to cut education funding in the years leading up to the study.

The United States spent approximately $12,800 per student on elementary and secondary education, which is 35% more than the OECD country average.[i] Where the United States starts to fall behind is how much knowledge students gain from their education. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, 15-year-olds in the U.S. ranked 31st out of 35 OECD countries in standardized tests. What more countries are starting to realize is that without a solid foundation of literacy skills, students are being set up to fail in all other areas of their education." (That took a study?)

And while you might think that the United States is at the forefront of literacy and education, it ranks 125th for literacy rate among all countries.

According to, Arizona ranks 47th for the least educated, 38th for educational attainment, 48th for school quality and 48th in the number of colleges/universities per 100,000 adults.

To state the obvious, Arizona ranks 48th in a nation that ranks 125th among other nations in literacy. Arizona ranks 48/50 in spending per student. But as the OECD data illuminates, when the government throws more money at the problem, the situation gets worse. The problem with our current educational process is systemic, not only financial.

Additionally, to add to the gloomy picture, in 2021 Charter schools boasted of a 46% pass rate in English and Language Arts compared to the state public school pass rate of 38% ( Why are we proud of our accomplishments when less than half the students can attain a "C" in this important area at their current grade level? Even worse are the Math scores with a 31% pass rate. Students doing school online fare much worse. The response we receive back from the Department of Education is, “Most educators know their kids are much more than a single test score,” she said. “There’s so much more information to see how their kids are doing.”


We agree, they are more. But nor are they less.

What will become of these students in the future? The answer is not hard to discern. If a student is not able to produce satisfactory results in their current grade, how will they do when everything becomes more difficult, when they need that in which they have not attained competency and mastery?

This is where Paradigm Learning Microschools excels. Read the next blog to find out why.

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