7th February, 2011.
The research done by Labaree (1997) on “the public goods, private goods: The American struggle over educational goals” is a documentary article that reflects the true picture of how Americans actually perceive their education system to be. It is one of the few researches that elicit and elaborate on the American educational system with regard to all sectors that affect the education system. Moreover, this article enlightens me on the various factors that have been under contention for several years regarding the American system of education. These factors include: The need for schools to center and hub on preparation of eligible and worthwhile citizens; the desire for schools to focus on training and educating responsible and hardworking workers and the need for production of competitive civilians in regard to societal positions and responsibilities. These three factors have arguably inhibited and restrained dialogue between the various opposing parties on what system of education should actually be adopted and implemented to benefit the local American citizens. On my side, I have actually felt that these factors have impeded and thwarted efforts put by education reformists in trying to rebuild and reinforce the education system.
They are several essential things that this article debates on in relation to the American education system. On my side I have learnt several things that I feel have enlarged and bestowed my understanding of vital subjects in education. First, I have learnt that the never ending accusations directed towards the education system are really mere arguments directed towards frustrating the efforts of those trying to fortify and strengthen the education system. Those opposed to the system of education debate that schools and other learning institutions: Do not meet the education standards, have sabotaged and subverted the competitiveness of the economy, are really a waste of resources, have been promoting disparity and unfairness in terms of social issues in the society, and finally that schools do not provide quality in terms of raising individuals who are competitive and polished enough to fit well in the society and community. These charges directed towards schools are actually false and biased since schools have shaped and modeled better citizens who have helped the nation develop and grow economically.
Moreover, I have learnt that cause and effect are always related and go hand in hand. The never ending suggestions and demands on fundamental and elementary amendments have been due to the accusations towards the faulty education system. Therefore, the current debate regarding reforms on the education system has been born from the opinion that this education system is faulty and not good to the American citizens. These proposed reforms which are aimed at: Reconstituting the administration of schools, promoting and encouraging parental control in terms of choice of schools to educate their children from, creation of academies for African Americans only, improving the curriculum and professionalizing the teaching profession; may not actually solve the problems proposed but worsen the situation since these proposed reforms have not been proved to be efficient as compared to the current education systems in place. To be sincere, I really do not object and dissent all the reforms proposed since some are far much essential and pregnant with hope of uplifting the American economy and reinforcement of the social status of American people which has been far much depleted in terms of societal responsibilities and responsibilities. For example, those reforms proposing for the development and expansion of a standard and uniform national curriculum for all schools is actually a good idea that should be embraced and implemented. This will help eliminate disparities in terms of performance and also will encourage cohesiveness and uniformity in terms of the skills acquired by school graduates all over the country. Basically this disparities and differences are brought about by the diverse curriculums used by various schools to educate their students.
Furthermore, I feel that reforms directed towards providing opportunities for the unfortunate and hapless in the society are more realistic and reasonable. In reality, this will help eliminate discrimination and may promote equality in terms of equitable distribution of resources since the poor will also have access to the national cake through education. Also reforms proposing for testing and examination for competency and qualification of teachers may be a solution to problems associated with schools undermining the economic development of America. These reforms will ensure that teachers who are professionals and fully qualified are the ones that should only be allowed by the education ministry and governing bodies to teach. Consequently, this yields a brand of well educated citizens who are substantially equipped to fit not only in America but any part of the world.
Labaree, D. F. (1997). Public Goods, Private Goods: The America Struggle over Educational Goals. American Educational Research Journal, 34 (1): 39-81.