top of page

Education in the United States of America

Education in America, how do we rank? Why does the richest country in the world have so many problems with education? Do we spend enough? I am sure you all know the answer to that question. Of course we spend enough! We spend more than any other country in the world on education, much the same as we do on healthcare. What do we get for our spend? We get students that are falling far behind their counterparts in nations such as Finland, South Korea, Canada and Singapore to name a few.

I haven’t looked for a couple years but at that time we ranked 37th in the world in education and healthcare. It seems strange that both healthcare and education fell to the same ranking in the world over the same time period. This ranking is last among all industrialized countries. In 1968 when I graduated from medical school, we ranked first in the world in both education and health care.

I think some of the reasons for this is interference by our federal government in education. Our federal government supplies about 8% of the economic resources our states receive and for this demands our states follow their guidelines on education. Our federal government has no business in education. Education is not a one size fits all. You cannot have the same standards for a homogenous group of Swedes and Norwegians in North Dakota as you have in a southern state with a hodgepodge of ethnic groups. I grew up in North Dakota and it may surprise you to learn that I had never seen a black person until I was 15 years old on a vacation in Washington state.

Do we pay our teachers enough? Our teacher’s salaries make up about 55% of educational expenditures compared to the 68% of other OECD countries and we spend nearly twice as much on non-teacher salaries. That may make sense also as the United States always will do with more when less may be the answer.

One of the reasons for our poor educational showing according to neaToday is the large number of poor immigrant students attending disadvantaged schools. That should make all of us wonder what is going on with the Democratic party when they are unable to educate many of their own constituents but want to now let hundreds of thousands more illegal aliens into our country and add them to our already overburdened, disadvantaged, underprivileged Americans who are not adequately cared for.

When we do not take care of issues such as this our teachers become disillusioned with their teaching roles in society and are paying more attention to societal woes. Of course, our federal government will have an answer for all of this. They always do; however they are like our disadvantaged students taking a test, they just cannot get the answers right.

Regardless of what we do to solve our educational problems, it is increasingly obvious we have to do something. Perhaps our states should forego taking any money from the feds on education and make all their own rules for their state. These are all problems that can be solved and better solved at the state level with our federal government staying out of it.

All of you have a blessed day and God bless America!

Rick R. Redalen, MD, Maverick Doctor

Pick up a copy of my book “God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn,” available on Amazon.

Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is now on a mission to improve healthcare in America. Visit or email him at

bottom of page