Strict Standards, Regulations, And Economic Problems Of The Public Education System

Words: 1112
Pages: 5

Many would agree that the right knowledge is essential to succeed and people generally acquire this knowledge through formal education. However, society is getting away from simple education. “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” Albert Einstein’s thoughts on education have never been truer than they are today. Strict standards, testing, regulations, and economic problems have crippled the public education system. The United States’ government has been trying to reform education for decades. In 1965, the ESEA, Elementary & Secondary Education Act, was passed as part of Johnson’s Great Society plans. This act provided federal support to public schools. President Bush revamped the ESEA with the No Child Left Behind initiative. This initiative included testing, accountability, and improvement. It introduced more widespread regulated testing, teacher evaluations, and higher standards. Since 2001, the public education system has gone under reform after reform as schools have “underperformed” and the economy has become slightly unstable. Problems have arisen due to the requirements of these government initiatives and the limited funds for public schools. In the world, the United States ranks seventeenth for students overall performance. To rectify this average rating, government officials have created a new set of standards for math and reading. It was designed after the curriculum used in high ranked countries such as Finland and Singapore. This new set of standards is known as Common Core. However, many are concerned that these standards are making kids try to learn too much too fast. High school teachers have to work sixty minutes of information into forty minute periods without leaving time for students to ask questions on the homework. Another issue surrounding Common Core is its timeline. The plan was put into effect too quickly. School administrators and teachers were not given sufficient time to look over the requirements and try to adapt their teaching style to accommodate the new curriculum. These new standards also include extensive standardized testing. These tests are somewhat unrealistic. They require students to remember minute details about subjects that are not useful in everyday life. The concepts are important but knowing what date the French Revolution started is not life-changing information. Standardized tests also cause a lot of stress for students. Parents have young students coming home crying because they received a low grade on a test. First graders should not have to worry about failing a test. Students are not the only ones dealing with extra stress. Teachers are being regulated and evaluated constantly. They have to show a certain amount of student growth in order to be considered effective. Teachers are also mandated to go to workshops and meetings during the school year which often take away from class time. This seems counterproductive. They are absent from classes to go to meetings on how to improve their abilities as teachers. That does not make sense. Another problem with public education involves finances. State and federal funding is not sufficient to keep schools running effectively. Tax caps, such as the one in New York, make it difficult for districts to raise taxes enough to fulfill their needs. Due to this, schools across the country are making budget cuts. Art, music, and athletic programs are the first to go. These programs are necessary to having well-rounded students. It lets children express themselves and display their talents. Teachers’ positions are also in jeopardy. Thousands of educators have been laid off in the past few years. When positions are cut, the student-teacher ratio increases which means that teachers are responsible for more students. This invariably leads to students getting less attention if they need it and causes them to fall behind. When school districts can no longer make any position and budget cuts, they often have to look