Many parents of school-age children consider that the U.S. education system is broken and cannot be fixed. Others believe that the school board and teachers’ unions have no interest in improving the education system and its outcomes.
The good news is that the U.S. education system has many elements working in its favor
that can be fixed to improve educational outcomes for the children. However, this requires dedication on the part of those involved in education. Many view education reform as a battle between the education establishment and the public.
One point of contention with education reform is the idea that the government is not the right entity to decide which educational techniques are to be used. While it is true that the education establishment should have a say in how the schools are run, it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to make choices for their children that fit their child’s needs. For instance, some students may need more structured teaching while others are better suited for social studies, science or music instruction.
There is little doubt that many of today’s schools have high levels of student disengagement. Much of this may be caused by a lack of early childhood education and the school day ends at lunchtime. The smaller class sizes may also be one of the reasons behind the problem.
While many states have made the decision to incorporate more social studies curriculum into the classroom, the focus should remain on the science and math content. The issue with social studies is that many of the areas covered, such as American History, are controversial topics that often stir up controversy. There is also the issue of political correctness that surrounds discussions of civil rights, slavery and the Civil War.
There are some concerns that exist with the school board for some of the areas covered. Some students are uncomfortable with the idea of being required to learn about slavery in history class. There is a concern about the impact of political correctness on how history is taught in public schools. Unfortunately, students do not feel that there is an option to discuss these topics in their personal time without discussing them in the classroom.
The American Association of University Women states that the social studies curriculum
is not the only way to understand America’s past. There are many other ways to learn and understand our history.
As for the curriculum issues surrounding the civil rights movement, well, there was a long discussion on this during the recent school board elections. Today, people learn more about the history of racial discrimination than they do about the civil rights movement.
It may be that the United States education system is simply too large for individual school districts to handle. However, we should also realize that the school board, the state and federal governments do have a role to play in improving the education system.
Instead of attacking the authority of the board and the school district, parents should be encouraging the establishment to get involved in education reform efforts and take control. Parents should not be shy about speaking out about issues that are troubling their children.
The United States education system is facing serious challenges that are affecting students, families and schools. The most important question for parents and educators to address is whether the system is broken or whether it is just too big and complex for change. Education reform is not a battle between those who want to keep things the same and those who want change.
- Education reform is something that the entire nation needs to look at together.
- Regardless of who is in power, it is important to remember that change is possible.
- Even the largest systems can be improved with a commitment to learning what works and what does not.