I am a current college student and I can tell you first hand pointless classes take up most of my work load. I am a Sports Administration major taking classes such as "Basic Anatomy Lab", "Finite mathematics", as well as "Evolution of Jazz" all to fill prerequisites the university has put in place for me to get my degree. None of these classes will help out my career in any way shape or form. For those who argue that classes like these make me a well rounded individual and what not then maybe taking them in High School would be acceptable but not at a University charging me $55,000 dollars a year. We need more of a direct and meaningful route for students who 100% know what they want to do in life. All of these garbage credits used to keep your money flowing in are useless and a waste of time.
Our education system is falling. We need more materials and qualified staff to educate our students. The system is inadequate. The system must be improved and done in a timely action. Our schools are receiving less and less money every year. How can we compete in a world market when our students are unprepared for the world.
We need a reform that gives PUBLIC school money to actually run effectively and give the students proper education, especially in stem, science, technology, engineering, and math. With the addition of English. Every state should have a similar, but NOT the same kind of test to show efficiency and progress. The tests should have a similar 'outline' but different details to ensure that we can see the progress in the whole country while also not making it impossible for individual differences. Private and Charter Schools should have the same requirements as public, and we should stop giving them money, they chose to be private, not the taxpayers..
Instead of spending mone on the Department of Defense, let's concentrate on educating our young people in math and science. The United States lags behind Japan and several European countries in its education system. Summer break shouldn't happen anymore and kids should spend more days in school. Why? Getting an education keeps children out of trouble and off the streets.
The number one issue is standardized testing. Let me tell you first hand as a high school student that standardized tests provide no proof of the student's true skill and potential. I am normally a rather stellar student, but when it comes to testing time I am unable to show my true skills. My test scores never reflect my true ability and when a college will look at them they won't be able to see what I can truly do.
Plato declared way back when that it is a teachers job not fill a child's head with knowledge but to point them in a direction where they can learn and think for themselves.
My teacher, Dr. David Preston, has introduced the idea of Open Source Learning in my public high school. There is no book we are forced to read out of, no scantron we are forced to fill out. We really aren't forced to do anything but we are strongly encouraged. He provides his students with tools such as assigning us to read articles about how to be successful online, or arranging us skype calls with successful entrepreneurs and this gives us the learning tools to almost crave knowledge.
When a child is forced to read a story they do not like, when they are not given options, it is very easy to shutdown and this is why there is an increasing rate of hatred for schools in America.
I'm not saying we eradicate the system but change is not always bad.
First a disclaimer. I have written 6 e-books dealing with education reform and arguing against it. It will be hard for me to change minds in 500 words.
You’ve the 1947 Truman Commission Report on Higher Education for Democracy to thank for ¾ of your college not being in your major. Colleges of the 1940s were already considering changing to this design but that report got the ball rolling. It was the Big Red Scare of Communism that prompted it.
Our teachers are qualified. Most do have a Bachelor’s degree or higher so they are very knowledgeable about their field. For most subjects an Associate’s degree should suffice. It is when you try to teach something else that you get into trouble.
There is no STEM Shortage so no need to push it. School never pushed anything before. In the 1960s to 1970s and maybe to into the middle 1980s we did have a shortage of Computer Science people. But not since then. In fact there are at least 6 organizations that say we have no STEM shortage. The Center for Immigration Studies, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Rand Corporation, the Urban Institute, the IEEE organization, and the National Research Council have all found that the STEM Shortage does NOT exist. We have a glut of STEM people and college graduates in general.
In fact, the Rand Corporation went back in time and found that we (the United States) have NOT had a STEM shortage since at least as far back as 1990. This is critical. No STEM shortage in 25 or 26 years years.
So far as the PISA test goes. Most that do well are small homogeneous countries (and a couple of cities in China). China as a country does not participate and neither does India. The US is the largest country that participates. The 4th largest country and the 2nd largest country that participates, Indonesia is near or at the bottom of the 65 countries that participate, in all three subjects. We are somewhere near the middle of the pack. I do not know why we participate at all. What a 15 year old knows is not important. I do agree that we test kids way too much and that these tests prove nothing except who taught to test the best.
Plato may have said this but understand that he had an IQ of 180 and Socrates his teacher had an IQ of 160. Their form of education was meant for geniuses, not the common folk. Open source learning gets into the teacher being the facilitator and not a teacher. Facilitators are usually reserved for Master’s and PhD students. High school students should be taught known facts. You will have to read things you do not like in college. Get used to it. Again, ¾ of what you take will not be in your major.
So, no education reform is not needed, except maybe to go back to the way things were prior to the 1980s.
Education is what you get not indeed what you want to get. You have to learn about all subjects and all children have to be all rounders in every subject available for them to do in their schools so they need to be very good at all their subjects in school.