Education in America—and what to do next—was the central focus of a panel discussion at Cornell’s Bailey Hall Thursday.
The panel featured Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Cornell President David Skorton.
Bush said American students’ performance compared with the international community “can best be summed up as mediocre.”
“We worry a lot about our children’s self-esteem. In Asia, they worry about whether their kids have a deep understanding of algebra and science,” he said. “Which part of the world will be the winners going forward with that kind of attitude?”
Bush serves as chairman of the non-profit Foundation for Excellence in Education in Florida.
Zimpher said the state needs to invest more money in early childhood education.
“Let’s not kid ourselves. We don’t have a system of early childhood education. We don’t have standards for what a quality early childhood program is.”
She said pre-K programs are a critical first step to education reform.