After much consideration I’d venture to say that three things that we do really well in the U.S. Education System are as follows: our responses to differences in the classroom, the fact that we have a free and accessible public education for all individuals regardless of religion, race, or economic status, and our ability to pursue a higher education. While I trust that as educators we could all benefit from a more extensive training in particular areas-- I do believe it is commendable how well we respond to the varying aspects of our classrooms including: inclusion, multicultural education, multiple intelligences, and differentiated instruction (Sapon-Shevin, 2013).
In my opinion and based largely on experience the top three priorities for the future of the U.S. Educational System should be: the rebirth of a values based education, the adoption of a “whatever it takes” attitude, and improved teaching training with increased salaries.
One thing that I strongly believe should be a priority of the U.S. Education System would be to “bring back” and focus on a values based education. Lickona (1991) states that fewer students come to school with an attitude of respect toward adults; many of our students today are audacious in their disrespect for teachers and other authority figures. It is suggested that a child’s disrespectful behavior at school all too often is a direct reflection of the miseducation, inattention, or abuse that they receive at home (p. 109). The common trend that we are seeing in the decline of children’s behaviors certainly appears to stem from the home. Our societal norms are ever changing and more so then the single-family homes or the “new breed” of parents; what we are witnessing is a generation of children whose “biggest source of interaction has been with something you plug in and turn on” (p. 90). It is not that these children “set out” to be “bad,” it is believed that they’ve just never been taught to be “good” (p. 90).
I do believe, whole-heartedly, that schools can make a positive impact on children’s lives regardless of the extenuating factors they face. While it does take a “village to raise a child” and a partnership needs to happen between school and home, I believe that as long as schools begin to do their part than it is a step in the right direction. Lickona (1991) states that early indicators are hopeful when it comes to the effectiveness of the new efforts in values education and that by adopting such programs and attitudes research is showing an increase in the moral attitudes and behaviors of students (p. 27). I imagine that if educators are creating environments where students feel loved, accepted, respected, and safe that we will begin to see an improvement in their behaviors. It is difficult to discipline a child if they do not feel loved and/or respected and once you have established that relationship with them than they will behave accordingly if for no other reason than the fact that you have now given...