America's To-Do-List: #1-Fix Education Essay example

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America's To-Do List: #1- Fix Education Education is a fundamental aspect of any civilized nation. The goal of public education in America is to turn uninformed children into knowledgeable citizens who are fully capable of participating in a society driven by democracy and economics. Students drop out every year by the hundreds of thousands, and those who remain receive a less than satisfactory educational experience due to lack of funding, inadequate teachers, and flawed educational strategies. Americans must improve school funding and increase teacher pay to ensure all students receive quality primary and secondary education as well as reduce remediation and drop out rates through improved learning standards, effective assessment tools, …show more content…

As explained in Diane Ravitch's article, “American Schools in CRISIS,” educators are provided with little job security under Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Obama's Race to the Top educational reform initiatives; where teachers can be fired based on poor standardized test scores from their students (50). The majority of new teachers already quit within five years of entering the field; “demoralized” (Ravitch 50) by the effects of such high stakes and low resources (Ravitch 52). To combat this figure, many states have decreased the requirements for becoming a teacher, even allowing online licensure in Texas (Ravitch 51). To lower the standards of the “conservators of our common future” (Barber 122) is an irresponsible practice that must be reversed if students are to succeed. Barber proposes paying early childhood educators as much as lawyers to attract better teachers. Higher wages would encourage more ambitious individuals to enter the fields of primary and secondary education. Without highly-trained and intelligent educators, who are dedicated to progress and change, students will continue to stumble through a broken system, woefully unprepared for the task of becoming productive citizens. The practice of evaluating students and teachers based on expensive and stressful standardized testing has been the focus of educational reform for over a decade and has thus far proven to be ineffective (Ravitch 51).

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