aws in Our Public Education
America has remained the world’s largest economy for over 10 decades. Home to more than 50% of the highest ranked colleges and universities, the schools in the United states are looked upon as one of the best worldwide. However when it comes to primary and secondary education, the performance level seem to have remained stagnant compared to other industrialized countries. In fact a study by University of Chicago economist James J. Heckman has shown that individuals with a G.E.D performed no better economically than high school dropouts (Gordon 1). To combat this trend, U.S. needs to reform the education policy systems across the country.
As a country, the academic performance of U.S. seems great, however compared on an international level there is a problem. Every 3 years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducts a study, PISA, across the world on 15-year olds on their performance of math, science and literacy. In the PISA 2012, 65 countries took part. The results show that: for math U.S. ranked 30, for science 18 and for literacy 18. Though the rankings are not bad, in each test the U.S. scored in the range of below average to average. On top of that “ the U.S. average mathematics, science, and reading literacy scores in 2012 were not measurably different from average scores in previous PISA assessment years.” (“Program..”) While U.S’s scores are remaining consistent, other countries are improving. If this trend continues, Americans will lose out on job opportunities and higher education.
The government’s role in education has shown ineffective. The state and local governments primarily run the public schools in America. The state government is responsible for setting educational objectives for local governments to follow. States can assign certain number of core courses like English, math, science and history that all student must meet in order to graduate. According to Mariko silver, director of Strategic Projects of Arizona State University, and Michael Crow U.S. has “not adequately enhanced its math and science education standards” to coincide with the advancing economy/technologies (Crow and Mariko 279).
The local governments hold a majority of the power in public schools. In the primary and secondary school systems, school-district governing bodies are comprised of school boards that control the design, administration and the outcome of the schools. The school boards are compromised of elected groups of residents that hire a superintendent. It then goes in hierarchal order where the superintendent hires the principals, which then hires the teachers. This group of people essentially “has the final say (within broad educational objectives set at the state level) over everything from the school district's curriculum to what will be served as a school lunch or provided in vending machines in the halls” (Crow and Mariko 281). If a school district was built upon by group of...