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Faults In American Education

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8/6/2015 3:15:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Let's start of with this; as of January 18th, 2015 (1), the United States ranks 28th globally in quality of education, and ranks 17th in academic performance of its students (2). In this post, I am going to try and answer a critical and pressing question: What is wrong with American Education?

My first topic I would like to focus on is the teachers. Increasingly, the salary of teachers is coming under fire for not only being abysmally small, but also relatively low compared to what they are doing inside of the classroom. According to (3), the U.S. is ranked 12th in average teacher salaries over 15 years ($41,460), while the top 4 are well above $50,000. Finland, which is ranked 9th in salaries for teachers, has their teachers work on average 32 hours a week, while U.S. teachers work an average of 53 hours a week (4). Despite the difference of hours, Finnish teachers are still payed more per year. One might wonder why this is so, and the answer is a flawed educational system. Personally I believe America could learn a thing or two from the Northern European countries. You would think that for all the time and effort it takes to teach kids in schools, you would be rewarded more, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. If you want to improve the education ratings of the United States (which is all the education department cares about, ratings), then an essential part of the puzzle is fixing the teaching issue.

Now that I have explained the flaws in teachers, let's move on to a more critical part of the issue; students themselves. Each state, by law, has their own standardized testing and curriculum for their students. When every state has different levels of difficulty in teaching and tests, the scores on national tests like the SAT have a wide range of scores. Now, there are independent prep courses for students to prepare for the national-scale, but these often cost money and not all students can afford them. If kids can't afford the extra-curricular preparatory courses, then their primary and secondary education should be good enough to carry them through on the national level. That is not always the case, as teaching methods and rigorousness greatly varies throughout each state. All you would have to do is see that each state has different levels of education and test scores. To fix this, the government would have to make a new education system, one that spanned the entire nation, all 50 states. But that is an idea for another post.

Feel free to comment on and criticize my ideas. I am open to criticism and quite frankly, I want to be corrected so that I can expand my knowledge on these issues. Thanks!

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