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Education in America - Failing Schools

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Essay title: Education in America - Failing Schools

Education in America: Failing Schools

Education in America is one of the most important issues that face our nation. If the education in America is not thought of one of most serious issues we face, our nation as a whole will fall. There are many debates and they seemly extend to all walks of life. The debates range from the decline in education, school vouchers, and the no child left behind law. As a nation, the United States is ranked above others. We must search for that solution to all of the pro’s and con’s in education. The solution should allow all walks of life to excel in the education realm. After all, the children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow.

The quality of education in the United States stated by Mr. Bethell places the blame on the deterioration on inefficient bureaucracies, irresponsible teachers, unions and the lack of teacher preparedness. He even goes in to detail to explain how the United States was once an envied nation now comes under great scrutiny for low standardize test scores (par. 20).

In 2003, after months of investigation, the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force compiled an overview twenty years later after the National Commission on Excellence in Education was held ( Bethell, par. 2). The Koret Task Force has blamed the decline in Education on poor budgeting from the Department of Education. They claim that even though teacher’s salaries have risen, and the amount of students in the classroom has been reduced the education has still declined. Some of the Koret Task Force finding includes, “The United States continues to fall behind other countries. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores remain well below their 1970 levels. The school year is about seven days shorter than formerly. The share of teachers with a master’s degree in a particular subject area (rather than in education) has fallen from 17 percent in 1982 to percent now. Teacher’s salaries rose from $19,000.00 a year to $35,000.00 in 2000. “And their fringe benefits have increased rapidly” (Bethaell, par 4). The Koret Task Force also believes that public education is a civil rights issue. They state that a school voucher should be used in lieu of making poorer learning environment better. They suggest that children who are from a poor black or Hispanic background that happens to live in the inner city should have a choice in their education. The school vouchers would allow a student from another neighborhood to attend the school of their choice. Minority students have increased their test taking scores due to the school voucher program. These issues explain several legitimate reasons why the Public Education System is failing.

The difficulty in school vouchers is expressed in the need for school choice because it helps promote better schools, but also raises the question of who should receive the vouchers. Choice can mean different things to many people. In 1962 when school vouchers came into play there has been an ongoing concern, just who should have the voucher? Should it be the minority family that lives across town, or the family that is financially able to pay tuition? The problem with school vouchers is that it takes tax dollars to pay for them. Although, “there’s a very strong argument for choice but education improvement must be part of it” (Hobson, par. 4). The administration assumes that schools are like cars: bound to improve under competitive pressure. “In a market, advocates say, good schools will flourish and multiply and bad ones will be forced to close. Yet only a sound curriculum will ensure well-educated students-students who can write a personal paper, who can use basic algebra, who knows when Lincoln was president and where France is” (Hobson, par. 4). But if better education is not demanded, it will not be given. In retrospect, if vouchers were such a great idea then there would not be so many problems.

In a bill that was signed into law in 2002 it proclaimed that all students by 2014 will be proficient in academic skills (Bush, par 1). During the 2003 speech that was given by President Bush claims that due to adequate testing set up by the individual states that there are significant gains in student academics. These gains have resulted in extra funding, enhanced teacher training and even tutoring. Bush was quoted as saying, “The era of low expectations and low standards is ending; a time of great hopes and proven results is arriving and together we are keeping a pledge: every child in America will learn, and no child will be left behind….” (Bush, par. 5). President Bush has placed great enhances on testing. It is believed that frequent testing in the classroom can be used as a guide to help individual schools build academically.

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