The Major Themes Of The American School System Essay

The Major Themes Of The American School System Essay

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The major themes presented in chapters 2 and 3 of Someone Has to Fail is to help the reader gain an understanding behind the driving factors that established the American school system in the beginning, back before the United States was even a county. It is also to help the reader to develop an understanding of the many movements of reform that have played a major role in shaping the educational system as we in America know it today.
As the colonies began, no formal system of schooling existed. Families planned with master craftsmen to work with their children to prepare and train them for a job in the family business. Beyond “career preparation”, the driving force behind being literate was religious motivation. Protestants needed to be able to read the Bible and education was a means to that end. What was interesting to me was that the book mentioned that “the religious view stimulated top-down efforts by the government and the church to provide education for the people”(Labaree 2010, p. 48). It is this top down approach from the government, controlling education, that has worked to push any religious aspect out of the public schools today.
Education in America became a source for social reform and advancement for individuals as more and more people began to want to be educated and saw it as a way to move on from the family business. As education became more popular, the government sought to pay for those that could not afford the opportunity. It was this inability to pay for the education of everyone that caused the common school to draw on public funding. As schools took public money to have the ability to enroll and function, they opened themselves up to critics and subject themselves to being the vehicle of social reform f...


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...ystem that is beginning to look at the education of it’s students in this manner? How will this effect the money going to the school? The government always seems to like to be in control, what is their next move in regards to this latest career education move in our country? Would our country be better off not to educate the masses and put students on vocational tracks earlier?
Finally, I thought that the final paragraph of the reading offered a profound statement when it stated that “reform may be better at changing the form of education than it’s content” (Labaree 2010, p. 104). I believe this to be true, that no matter what the social agenda has been throughout the years, most people that get into education do it for the right reason. Not to make a social change or to make a political movement, but because they care about students and seeing them be successful.

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