It baffled me that I read this same reasoning in numerous articles and I watched several media outlets continue to point at income inequality for stripping young people of the American Dream. Most articles and news shows didn't mention other real reasons why the American Dream has been lost, nor did they give a game plan to get our youth back to winning.
Let's start with education.
If you look at the time periods in America when kids where most likely to out-earn their parents, those same kids lived and learned in an America where their education system ranked No. 1 in the world. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, this ranking has struggled to remain in the top 20 globally.
This means our kids are just not as advanced and they are just not as qualified as they were during the heyday of American history. Unfortunately, politically-correct philosophies have penetrated our public school system while stripping accountability, competition and winning philosophies from the public school teachers and administrators who have the difficult task of educating this new generation of children.
As a matter of fact, a teacher who outperforms his or her peers and produces students who excel has limited opportunities to receive advancement or additional compensation for their job well done. At the same time, subpar teachers are often protected by their union as well as a non-competitive work environment. Public school compensation is based on the time that a person is employed and able to show up for the job, otherwise known as tenure. This is not how you win.
And let's not forget that we have forced crippling standardized tests on students and created a Common Core system that has essentially stripped our children of critical thinking and discouraged millions of children from nourishing their creative minds.
Oh yeah, and school choice — that's not a reality for some of the kids in our underserved communities that need It the most. I guess politically-correct-minded people believe that these tragedies in our education system have nothing to do with why our kids can't thrive in an ever-changing global economy. Let's hope that Trump's new Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos ends Common Core and brings the winning mentality back to our school system.
The winning mentality is the only thing that can help bring back the American Dream for the deserving youth of America.
Commentary by Jack Brewer, a former NFL safety who played for the Vikings, Giants, Eagles and Cardinals. He is also the founder and CEO of the Brewer Group. He has a master's degree in sports management from the University of Minnesota. He serves as an ambassador for peace and sport for the United States Federation of Middle East Peace at the United Nations. Follow him on Twitter@JackBrewerBSI.
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