Since time immemorial, knowledge and education is considered to be one of the most coveted virtues of mankind. With the passage of time, men developed various structures which were designed to facilitate the highest levels of education that was, and is, deemed attainable. Most countries have realized the worth of an educated population to such an extent that now education is included in the list of basic necessities. This report delves upon the structure of the educational system in the United States of America and ascertains the limitations which surface within it.
Thesis Statement: I agree to the fact that America’s education system is failing and my report includes facts, figures and observations based on the study of various scholarly resources which have been compiled in support of my statement.
Introduction: Education System of America
Being a superpower in today’s world, America takes pride in housing some of the most prestigious educational institutions of all times, like Harvard University, MIT, etc. However, there has been an ongoing debate on how the educational system of USA is slowly diminishing in stature and decreasing its potential. There are many students in America who are either not being able to reap the benefits offered by the system or are not being able to implement their knowledge in an efficient and productive way. There are various factors, which led to such a downward movement, and these factors are discussed in detail herewith.
One of the most important questions that arise pertaining to the success of a particular system is the motto which leads and operates the system at the first place. In the USA, recent studies have proved that there is a major challenge of “accountability” which both students and teachers have to face in their own educational system. Many students and teachers are held accountable for their individual performances and also for the overall performance of the institution. However, the thing which deserves the maximum attention is not who let it happen, but “what” led to it. It is time for the USA to realize and learn that things can be done differently, in a way which is more likely to bring success. And for comparison, we can take the example of countries like Canada, Japan, Singapore and many others which pride in producing and honoring the best of minds. (Why American Education Fails | Foreign Affairs)
Yet another problem that surfaces amidst all the seemingly fair concepts of merit-based education is the problem of discrimination. Students were, and still are, treated differently on the basis of their race, origin, culture and nationality. Now, we are not deviating from the topic and investing our attention towards students of other origin. By mentioning them, we intend to focus, or to be precise, question, the system that we are discussing here. In America, the education system has been always marred with cases of unjust treatment towards students based on anything but merit. We need to ascertain the repercussions of these practices before we go about questioning the worthiness of a particular student or a group. However, there are many practices which are fairly new, like the “Race to the Top” initiative by the Obama administration that have been designed particularly to eliminate such differences.
Money is not the Solution:
A noteworthy thing in the educational system of America is the expenditure that the government incurs towards its educational ventures. According to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the US government spends an average of $15,171 per student in a year. If the quality of education was directly proportional to the amount of money that flows in, the US would have topped the charts when it comes to scores. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. It is not money that can solve the purpose, but the “internal structure” of the whole system that needs to be changed. (The Graph That Shows How Badly U.S. Education is Failing).
The failure of the educational system of the USA can be attributed to many factors like a student’s individual intellect, the teaching methods applied in schools and universities, the treatment of individuals in educational institutions and many more. Some of the most prevalent reasons are even depicted in movies like “Waiting for Superman” and “The Great Debaters”. These are some of the means which have been used to analyze the problem of a seemingly fruitless educational system from multiple facets. They question the very standards which are upheld by the system, for example, the inability to ask a tenured educator to leave even though his methods are not deemed fit. The educational system of USA is bound by many written, and unwritten, restrictions and laws which do not act on its favor, as can be seen from the reports pertaining to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Therefore, to conclude, it would not be incorrect to state that the educational system of America will continue its downward movement till the time the various internal factors affecting the entire educational structure are either changed or reformed.
- Unknown. "Why American Education Fails | Foreign Affairs." Foreignaffairs.com, 2014. Web. 16 Feb 2014. <http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139113/jal-mehta/why-american-education-fails>.
- Unknown. "The Graph That Shows How Badly U.S. Education is Failing." PolicyMic, 2013. Web. 17 Feb 2014. <http://www.policymic.com/articles/70993/the-graph-that-shows-how-badly-u-s-education-is-failing>.