Why This Matters

The Current Crisis in Education and its Implication for the Future

According to a 2013 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study published in the New York Times, youth and adults in the United States are fairing dismally as compared to 19 other countries in proficiency areas such as literacy, math, and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

The study found that among 16 – 24 year olds in 20 countries, the US ranked:

  • Second to last in mean literacy rates
  • Last in mean proficiency in numeracy rates
  • Second highest in the percentile of youths who scored at the lowest level in problem solving

Among 16-64 year olds, the United States ranked:

  • Fourth to last in literacy
  • Second to last in numeracy
  • First in the percentage of adults who ranked in the lowest proficiency level of problem solving 

Additionally, globalization and advances in technology challenge further the capacity of our educational systems to prepare youth and adult learners for economic mobility and the high levels of knowledge and skills required for success in school, career and life.

  • High school dropout rates as high as 40%
  • Reading, math and science assessment scores in the lowest percentiles vs. OECD countries
  • Highest university dropout rates when compared to the other 33 OECD countries

As dropout rates continue to soar in under-resourced communities, the gap between the “haves and the have nots” continues to widen. By 2018, according to forecasts by the Center for Education and the Workforce:

  • US economy will create 46.8 million job openings – 13.8 million new jobs and 33 million “replacement jobs”
  • Nearly two-thirds of these 46.8 million jobs – almost 63 percent – will require workers with at least some college education.
  • About 33 percent will require a Bachelor’s degree or better, while 30 percent will require some college or a two-year Associates degree.

Most of these high cognitive jobs will require high levels of analytic, critical thinking, technology and communications skills; and the gaps in social and emotional learning (SEL) and life skills that are barriers to these skills have been left out of the discussion on improving the outcomes of America’s schools. Yet, numerous studies and national surveys point to social emotional learning (SEL) as critical to student success in school, work and life.  In a new national survey, data conclusively show that “teachers across America believe that social and emotional learning is critical to student success in school, work and life,and yet current trends are working against the integration of SEL skills into academic curricula.

Teaching Life & Social Skills

Self-Control & Respect for Others
Bullying & Violence Prevention
Student Leadership & Team Building
Health & Wellness
Educational Planning for College & Careers
Financial Literacy



Our Mission

Urban Tech is a social enterprise committed to changing the game in education by creating solutions for students that:

  • Recognize their value to society, their stories, ideas and dreams;
  • Utilize animation, their language, music and games to enrich and engage students in learning;
  • Use social skills and standards-based curriculum adapted to their needs for academic improvement;
  • Provide opportunities for improved health, digital literacy, financial education and 21st century careers;
  • Invest in their schools by providing support to teachers and parents to further support student education.

National Urban Technology Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Tax ID #: 13-3826279. For more information, contact Patricia Bransford, President at (212) 528-7350 [email protected]