The teachers that are leading the future of this country are unmotivated, causing education to be less explosive. We need to pay teachers more. They hardly make a living. Highschoolers should be able to work in classes that relate to things they want to do. Teaching calculus to someone who wants to be a lawyer is completely worthless.
I can tell you firsthand that, at least in the state of Iowa, the educational system is terrible. And it wouldn't seem so bad at first. We have a seemingly fine curriculum of math, science, social studies, English, and other classes at earlier grades. But in our curriculum, I'm noticing a major void; we are not being taught critical thinking. Getting a good grade here goes as follows; take notes, memorize them, ace the test. It SHOULD BE; take notes, THINK ABOUT THEM, ace the test.
Let's look at the facts:
By the end of the 4th grade, African-American, Hispanic and low-income students are already two years behind grade level. By the time they reach the 12th grade they are four years behind.
The nation’s lowest-performing high schools produce 58 percent of all African-American dropouts and 50 percent of all Hispanic dropouts, compared to 22 percent of all white dropouts.
Less than 30 percent of students in the bottom quarter of incomes enroll in a four-year school. Among that group – less than half graduate.
So what's the issue? Low-income areas are not producing graduates. They are producing dropouts. The issue stems from the kids, sure, but the education system is responsible for keeping these kids interested and intrigued by education. They aren't being educated properly, for the future or otherwise, because if they were, they wouldn't be dropping out. They would know the importance of school.
The unfortunate part about American education is that rich parents produce rich, confident kids, who have success beaten into their heads from a young age. I don't personally come from that group, being from a lower-middle class family, but I can see how money and wealth can help a student exceed.
This isn't news, despite what people think. There was a time when only rich white kids were educated. I think the thought of that is repulsive.
We need an education system that raises it's standards to meet the rich kids, and that is not happening.
We need and education system that reaches out for those who don't value education, and that is not happening.
That is the main issue here and both of those things are key to the system. We need a wide spread of schooling, not a small bite sized section.
In other countries, students are divided by aptitude into the college prep group and the vocational group. We tend to put everyone into one group. Now the military objects that recent high school grads cannot meet minimum educational standards. Businesses have the same objection. Everyday I encounter retail people who cannot make change! The No Child Left Behind program only made things worse.
I am a sophomore at my local highschool. Recently, the school board decided that ,because of budget cuts, we will combine the north and south highschools. Thats fine. You can't just run a school into debt because a few parents are upset about it. However, classes should not suck the huge bollocks that they do. We learn repetitive material, but as long as we pass the standardized tests, the teachers don't give a flying fladoodle about how we feel as students. And its not their fault. If we don't pass, they get yelled at by administration and then fired. So yup, its a sucky education system.
In other countries like China and the Middle East the students are much much father than the children of the united states. Think about the technology that we have. Why are we so far behind? Questions like this I will always wonder but I may never know the answer to.
Many students in America seem oblivious and much rather ignorant and naive. Some have trouble answering questions that anyone with a 5th grade education would be able to answer, this is caused by teachers choosing not to physically teach students, but rather hand them packets and other forms of useless busywork.
I am a former teacher. I taught for twelve years in both California and Texas. My assessment is that the roots of the system are solid. The execution is sketchy.
Overall we have highly qualified, dedicated teachers who love their students and work very hard to give them the best education possible. In general our schools are safe places that provide physical and social environments conducive to learning. Our education system is adequately funded, and what is actually required for teaching and learning is available.
So what is the problem?
The students are the main failing point, not the teachers, not the parents, not the administrators (with reservations), not most of the system. EVERYONE gets the education they deserve. The curious and hardworking can get a Harvard quality education at the public library. The indifferent and lazy can get a poor education at Harvard. About half our students do not want to put in the work it takes to learn; they just want to be entertained. Some of this is they believe that life will take care of them, that things will magically work out like at the end of a half-hour TV sitcom episode. The stark contrast to this is the immigrant population, the kids I had in my English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Many were from war-torn or poverty stricken (REAL poverty, not what passes for poverty in the US) countries. These kids worked hard, were appreciative, and got first class educations. One girl, from the Philippines went from a fourth grade to post-high school reading level in a single school year. That was not because of me, nor her parents, nor the system. It was because she read challenging material almost every free moment she had. (Continued)