Goals of Public Education Essay

780 WordsJan 25, 20124 Pages
Goals of American Public Education TJC National University Foundations of Education/TED 602 January 13, 2012 Professor KL Goals of American Public Education Public education in America began in the early to mid-19th century with the simple goal of “uniting the American population by instilling common moral and political values” (Spring, 2012, p. 5). Our country was founded by men who designed the constitution so that it could be amended to accommodate changing political and social climates. They believed in the ideology of the American dream which “holds out a vision of both individual success and the collective good of all” (Hochschild & Scovronick, 2004, p. 1). It is with this same ideology that our public schools were…show more content…
These models are the Common-School model, the Sorting-Machine model, and the High-Stakes testing model. The Common-School model is one in which the school system is set up in order to allow all students an equal education. The disparities between social classes would, theoretically, be eliminated by this normalization. The Sorting-Machine model recognizes that all students are not created equal. Teachers, counselors, and standardized tests would be used to impartially “overcome the influence of family background” (Spring, 2012, p. 59). Finally, the High-Stakes testing model is based on the notion that schools can “give everyone an equal chance to learn and to be tested without cultural bias” (Spring, 2012, p. 63). Standardized tests are used for all forms of advancement and placement from grade-level promotions to professional credentialing. These models are used side-by-side, to some degree, in our 21st century implementation of public education. Obstacles in Achieving Educational Goals Throughout the history of public education, there have been barriers to the equality of opportunity philosophy. Thomas Jefferson’s proposal and Horace Mann’s implementation of public schools excluded non-citizens like blacks, women, and Native Americans. Next, an increase in immigration and industrialization widened cultural and economic differences between students. The greatest obstacle to equal education
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