A new report by the Council on Foreign Relations headed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former chief of the New York City public schools Joel I. Klein points to the growing disparity in educational opportunities is quickly becoming a major national security issue. “When it comes to the very tangible assets that the United States needs to defend itself, the education of people who can be soldiers, too many people can’t qualify for military service,” Rice told the PBSNewsHour.
Klein added: “I think both of us feel very strongly that one of the great threats to our national security is social cohesion. If people believe the game is rigged, if people no longer believe that you can start out anywhere and end up at the top successfully in America, that the American dream is part of the past, I think that erodes a sense of belief and confidence in our nation.”
Read CFR Report Summary: U.S. Education Reform and National Security
While some will focus on Rice’s concern that too many coming out of the schools cannot qualify for military service, for my money the greater issue is Klein’s concern about the growing lack of social cohesion. But together they show that the domestic issue of education reform is linked to the international concern of security and competitiveness.