What are the major problems facing American Schools today, and how can these problems be addressed?
I overslept and ran out to my bus with no time for breakfast. Life's so busy, you know? I spent the night working on an APush project, ensuring that I could get an excellent grade to attend a good school to enjoy a good life.
A couple of miles away, a kid also got on the bus hungry. He always does. His family qualifies him for free breakfast, being below 130% of the poverty line. Breakfast isn't only the first meal of the day; it's also the largest meal he has eaten since yesterday's lunch, with dinner always being small and not enough. We live in the same state and the same county and could drive to each other's respective houses in a couple of minutes. But our lives couldn't have been more different.
The sheer economic diversity of the American education system ensures that we have schools that are among the best in the world and schools that one couldn't imagine existed in a developed country. Because of the great differences within the American education system, the way we improve our education system should be done locale to locale, state to state, with overarching federal recommendations and guidelines that aren't intrusive, since the only way to tackle the issues at hand is a holistic approach that takes into consideration the vastness of the United States.
The American education system is completely failing our children. At least, that's what educational policymakers are trying to convince us of that our system is inherently wrong and that we need a revolution within the sector. There are a lot of things they can point to a study by professors from elite intuitions that compares student math performance internationally, and in which the United States as a whole was below nations such as Lithuania or Estonia, and some states like Mississippi being on par with nations like Turkey; the teacher shortages in many parts of our country; an inflexible education system that doesn't account for the socioeconomic differences; and the shortcomings of a common core meant to help students by implementing federal overhead metrics to help solve the issue of inequality.
Educational pioneers like Sal Kahn of Kahn Academy, the leaders of the XQ Project, urge Americans to scrap this system and be revolutionary. But for what? We know there are improvements to be made, but what's an example of the 'perfect system'? If we're talking about test scores, Shanghai students consistently overperform their American counterparts. They're a product of an education system that focuses on drilling and practicing, with discipline being regarded as much more important than creativity. In an example from "Shanghai Schools' Approach Pushes Students to Top of Tests" by David Borboza, an article that appeared in the New York Times in 2010, students answered questions about Euclid's theorem of parallelograms by "politely standing by their desks" and only "returned...