American Education Crisis:
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said “He who prescribes the diameter of your knowledge dictates the circumference of your activity.” The government gives education away for free through public schooling. A strong nation has a great education system where the children can excel. Nevertheless, America is suffering through an education crisis. The United States has fallen to 17th place in education among other countries because of teaching methods, and the culture surrounding education. Solutions to the education crisis includes: Professional Learning Communities, and finding ways to change the educational culture.
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Although the statistics seem bad, the graduation rates are high as well. The graduation rates are between 74.2%-91.6% (High School Graduation). The problem in the education system lies within the public schools, because the majority of students attend public schools. With these statistics in education, many people wonder why the United States is lagging, but one major reason is the teaching methods.
The No Child Left behind Act has made some improvement on the educational system; however, there are some weaknesses in the law. No Child Left Behind was an act created in 2001 and signed by former Pres. George Bush Jr. to help disadvantaged children. By 2005-2006, states were required to test students between grades third to eighth in reading and math. Since 2008, students were required to take a science test in elementary, middle and high school (No Child Left Behind para 1). CNN said that “the ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’ is unrealistic and restricts states' and school districts' ability to effectively channel student learning and tailor curriculum accordingly (CNN para.3).” The “Highly Qualified Teacher” requirement focuses more on credential rather than a teacher motivation (CNNpara.7) “No child left behind” is not the only issue within public schools. No Child Left Behind started schools to focus on standardized tests.
Strategies used in the classroom makes a difference in whether a child is learning and interested in the subject. Bill Gates said Asians are ranked higher in education because they make education “inventive and creative” (Gates). One issue with education system is that too many subjects are taught such as Drivers Education, consumer education, and salesmanship (Education 57). It is better to teacher subjects such as Drivers education outside of school in programs, instead of putting it in the curriculum. Teachers are accustomed to the traditional teaching methods instead of fulfilling children’s individual needs (Education 57). Children learn in different ways. Some children are visual learner, some are audio learners, and others are hands on learners. Teaching children one way will not benefit the entire class, because only some will learn the lesson while other will become confused and may fail the class.
Standardized tests have been used for many years. Tests such as ACT, SAT, EOC, and Gateway were made to determine how much knowledge the students have and to determine whether or not they are ready to move on to higher education. Standardized tests, however, should not be core of a child’s education. The tests do not show the child ability to learn, but rather cause children to learn how to take the test or cheat (Roch, 32). Sometimes, teacher may try and “teach” the test and not teach the lesson (Roch, 32). One of the differences between the U.S. education system and other countries is that other countries do not rely on standardized tests (Levy). To better the educational system, the United States should...