The United States of America has placed low on the educational ladder throughout the years. The cause of such a low ranking is due to such heavy emphasis on standardized testing and not individual student achievement. Although the United States uses standardized testing as a crutch, it is not an effective measure of a student’s ability, a teacher’s competency, or a school’s proficiency.
Something is amiss in America. Something does not fit. How can America be one of the strongest nations in the world, yet have the lowest educational ranking among advanced nations? This trend is a disaster for America and people are learning this quickly. There are many theories and ideas on what is wrong with America--terrible teachers, too much testing, or people that have authority positions with little experience. All are certainly relevant and play a factor in the American education system, yet they are missing something--a common link. Fixing one problem and ignoring the others, will solve nothing. These issues are the end products from the real problem on how the American Education system has flopped. The problem began for the American
Throughout the course of time, teaching, scores, and curriculum have changed to where education is mainly about “being okay” and never about actually improving; and abundant amount of people hold the theory that the government is well aware of this fact and has contributed to the continual downfall of American education in an effort to systematically decrease the competency and literacy of the American population, making them easier to manipulate and allowing the government to achieve increasingly greater power and control over the American population; as a result, Americans are being submerged in a culture that has encouraged them to become more complacent and less interested in bettering themselves which has allowed the government this power that continues to grow.
Defining the Problem: Unlike most categories measured on a global scale, the United States does not rank in the top ten countries when it comes to public education. This trend is not a new trend. The US has fluctuated up and down on its educational output depending on the President and if he made any attempt to reform the public education system. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in order to try and standardize schools across the country in hopes of closing the education gap between students in various states, social classes, and races. President Bush then signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, which did not take away from the purpose of ESEA, but rather acted like a caveat to it.
President Ronald Reagan once described America as, “A Nation at Risk,” He was addressing this statement to the education department thirty years ago and meant it as a wake-up call. He was aware that the United States was falling behind in education and needed to take action in order to prevent the demise of the country. Reagan correctly predicted the grim fate of America if education did not see improvement. Today, research finds that American education is failing to provide the necessary skills to succeed in college and various careers. The quality of education in America is a growing issue and every year graduate students are finding it more difficult to obtain high paying jobs and start his or her career. According to studies conducted globally, the curriculum in America is not as advanced and years behind international schools in countries such as China and Japan. There is much controversy in government over what can be done to reverse the situation in public schools but possible solutions that have been suggested are hiring more qualified teachers, more classroom time, and investing more money into education.
When the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was enacted in 2002, the focus of the United States education system turned to the nation’s education levels lagging behind other developed countries. The Congress enacted NCLB with intentions to level the educational playing field and require that schools meet federal minimum standards on national exams with a goal of seeing increases in exam scores every year (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). These new minimum standards created an emphasis to help struggling students to succeed. The requirements of NCLB worked in such a way that when pushing for the reauthorization of NCLB during his 2007 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush stated, “We must increase funds for students who struggle and make sure these children get the special help they need” (President Bush…). Of course we should try to give all students the help that they need, but states tend to interpret struggling students as those who display low achievement levels and have trouble in academic situations.
Ask any number of people, what the value of an education is and they all will agree that a good education is exceedingly important. However, ask any number of people, how the country should improve it, and that is fiercely contested. Every couple of years a new hopeful idea is put into the system to help in some way whether it be enforcing standards, opening schools like charter schools, giving out checks to private education, or having a teacher’s pay be based on their performance. The most recent ideas have been two federal programs that have both sought to remake the educational system. The first one is the “No Child Left Behind Act” that was put into place in 2001. This act is to r...
I am an after school counselor and my duties are: to help the children with their homework, engage them in the enrichment programs, and take them to recess and dinner. The school itself is brand new, it was rebuilt a few years ago. The outside of the school is pretty, but there isn’t much of a school, only two relatively small playgrounds with no swings and is mainly concrete. The classrooms are extremely bare as compared to the first grade classroom I observed, no children’s work is shown anywhere, and there are no decorations what so ever except for a poster that has a list of rules. The academics of the school is what is the main difference between the two schools I have observed. The grade I am responsible for is third-grade and working with them has expanded my perspective and let me see a different side of the education system. At least four out of the twelve children I had, were unable to read at all, and the rest of the children had a hard time processing the material. They do not know their multiplication tables, and sometimes do not even know the difference between addition and subtraction. Only two out of the twelve children I had were actually on the third grade level. Listening to the children, I found out most of their families consist of single mothers that are young and work at least two
“If you would just get up and teach them instead of handing them a packet. There’s kids in here that don’t learn like that. They need to learn face to face. I’m telling you what you need to do. You can’t expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell ‘em.” Texas student, Jeff Bliss, decided to take a stand against the lack of teaching going on in his class (Broderick).
"A world-class education is the single most important factor in determining not just whether our kids can compete for the best jobs but whether America can out-compete countries around the world. America's business leaders understand that when it comes to education, we need to up our game. That's why need to work together to put an outstanding education within reach for every American child"-President Barack Obama, July 18, 2011