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May 9, Issues Confronting American Education Today Beginning the Western Civilization, school curriculum focused on the learning of academic skills, enhancing intellectual faculties and encouraging competitive literacy. However through the years, education has transformed from this most fundamental form to newly explored methods imbued with psychology-based curriculum. The restructuring of education traces back through the efforts of John Dewey, an American Philosopher known for his publications concerning education who was radical about changing the center of the curriculum from academic subjects to workforce activities which provides eclectic opportunities for individual interactions and socialization.
According to him enhancing high literacy would result to independent intelligence which is a form of perversion and an anti-social stance hence the need for the restructuring of the educational system, (Dewey, 1898). As a result of such policy, education has departed from a system identified with freedom, nationalism, and work ethic. Today, education in America has become less effective for learning academic skills because it has turned into a channel infiltrated with issues affecting political and social differences.
Educational policies have become more concerned to the evolution of the society inculcating the modern knowledge that the primary purpose of education is to obtain a good paying job in the labour force economy. This results to the failure of educational policies to address the various problems inherent within the system such as huge hike increases in school tuition, increase in costs of research, decreasing numbers of teachers, cheating among students, ineffective grading system, lack of school supplies and textbooks and other school related issues.
Moreover, there has been an appalling failure to improve critical thinking and enhance leadership among students because schools were transformed into training grounds to produce compliant labour force. With these various problems, educational policies must focus on transforming schools into dynamic and self-motivated organizations to help the students learn basic skills such as reading and writing, improve critical thinking and problem-solving, acquire new knowledge, and enhance competitive attitudes and behaviours.
Today’s education should not depart from enhancing academic knowledge rather in addition to fundamental core subjects, must also develop creativity, innovation, and social and managerial skills. To implement such policies schools must also introduce new methods in delivering instructions not merely as an add-on to the conventional conduct of lecture, recitations, tests or examination methods to ensure improvement in the quality of education. In the issue of decrease in the number of teachers, fellow teachers and school administrators must establish support programs for new teachers necessary for their survival in the school environment.
The support policy must involve mentoring, orientation of school duties, continuing induction plans and other preparations required for such survival. In addition to such support system, parental involvement in the education of children must also be encouraged. Involvement of parents in educating their children results to higher tests scores in academic assessments which would eventually lead to greater number of graduates. Issues concerning schools in America, or any other country for that matter, would have discrepancies in terms of private and public schooling.
What makes the discrepancies between public and private schooling is not difficult to ascertain. The basic and probably the major distinction is funding. This issue alone can grow to a lot of various divergences which lead to the existence of a wide margin of seriousness in policy implementation and accountability in private schools as compared to that in public schools. Studies in the past decades surmise that among the problems facing public school education in America include uninvolved parents, drug use and the lack of discipline of students (Hochschild,58).
However, these are internal issues and mostly administrative. These problems exist as well in private schools but become more prevalent in public schools since accountability is taken more seriously in schools where students pay for their education well. Hence, we turn to the government since the matter boils down to the issue of funding. Nevertheless, the government alone cannot batter these problems by merely improving funding in public schools. Since the gap in funding can only be minimized and never eliminated, all other sectors concerned need to be involved in addressing the issues at hand.
The local government, the communities, the schools and the parents should work hand in hand in battling the issues that confront American education today. A lot of policies are available for implementation. Needless to say, each and everyone should make it a point to voice out their concerns in upgrading the quality of education in his or her own school. We can only hear those who speak and come forward. Involvement, thus, is a major step towards quality and accountability in running educational institutions.
Cooperation and involvement are key steps to improving American education. Interschool organizations can be established to supervise member schools. The government can mandate that all schools be members to provide a system of checks and balances in educational institutions. Review Boards may be created which may be comprised of representatives from different sectors primarily those affected such as the parents, the communities, the schools and the government. A lot can be done if all concerned would be persistent enough to fight for an education that is highly valued, not highly-priced.
It is a basic right for all and a major responsibility of each and everyone. WORKS CITEDHochschild, Jennifer L., Nathan, Scovronick The American Dream and the Public Schools, Oxford University Press, 2003.Dewey, The Primary-Education Fetish, 1898.
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