The American Public School System Essay

The American Public School System Essay

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The American public school system faces an education crisis. According to Benjamin Barber, American children barely surpass the lowest standards set for education, especially in literacy, throughout the county’s history. Barber supports the existence of this crisis in his essay “America Skips School”, but argues against a solution to remedy the numerous problems facing the system. Although he acknowledges no solution, Barber suggests a smarter flow of financial resources will address many of the issues, however, he fails to acknowledge the distribution of this money. Barber’s suggestion for smarter financial resources for schools can be effectively implemented through a structured committee focused solely on the distribution of money.
Despite Barber’s plan for the spending of education funds, he lacks a plan for the source of the money. In American society, citizens are required to pay taxes on their income and purchases. The money is then divided for governmental expenses, most importantly, the education system. “Times are tough, money’s short, and the public is fed up with almost all of its public institutions: the schools are just one more frustrating disappointment.” (217) Realistically, most of the U.S. tax money originates from the middle class citizens. The middle class cannot afford higher taxes to pay for schools, nor would they desire to contribute more funds to a system substandard system. “Clearly, the social contract that obliges adults to pay taxes so that children can be educated is in imminent danger of collapse.” (210) If adults were to withhold tax money, the education system’s existence would face shutdown. Americans eventually rebel against faulty government programs, education included. To avoid such a collap...


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...ls. The race to the top would already be won by the larger, richer, and more powerful school districts without those foundational funds. “Because we believe in profits, we are consummate salespersons and efficacious entrepreneurs.” (217) Barber’s essay supports the idea of incentivized results. Not only would districts compete with other schools, but their standards would be raised year after year in consequence to the oversite of the committee.
The education of American children is at stake with the crisis facing the school system. Barber’s plan to reallocate funds away from unnecessary expenses succeeds with the work of an oversite committee focused on the incentivization of success and prioritizing funds to poorer districts. A money distribution oversight committee solves Barber’s lack of planning for the source and human resources needed to implement his plans.

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