1. It is a System of confinement; not progression
We go to school, we walk in a straight line, we leave when the bell rings, we follow stamped curriculum (that often blinds us of the truth; particularly in History and Science departments), we follow protocols, etc. This is a system of structure, of order of control. We don't think about it that way because education is viewed as a tool; BY ALL MEANS: IT IS. But, how is the American government using this tool to shape our youth and better our future? TO THEIR BENEFIT; NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT. It is obvious there are many glitches in our school system, but they have not greatly been changed or widely addressed. Im sure some of you are reading this thinking "Well no, there's this program" or "They did do this." NEWS FLASH: WHEN THIS GOVERNMENT WANTS SOMETHING DONE; IT DOES IT. You can deploy several troops and billions of dollar for war, invest millions for political campaigning, and you expect me to believe investing in our schools is really that difficult? No. This system is very static; leaving very little room for improvement and progression. It is more comfortable not changing than providing the best for students.
2. Low Salaries for Educators
What better way to show you care about a MUCH NEEDED PROFESSION than not paying much to do so. Teachers (along with the majority of other school staff) are not paid enough. We know this. The very people who are responsible for the development of children into American citizens, have extremely low earning potentials. This is probably one of the most influential professions an individual can have, yet you work in the school system for 10 years and don't make more than a first year teacher; nor do you have much opportunity for financial growth. America screams "We need our teachers. We love our teachers," but things often seen as valuable are always worth the investment. This is no different. Our educators and staff deserve more. Our students deserve more. Low paying jobs are often more inclusive to anyone who meets the requirement vs. those who can exceed them. Our students need educators who have a passion to excel at their jobs; who really make a difference. Higher wages illicit motivation for educators to do those things.
3. Not "Student-Centered"
I am in school to be a therapist. They are always screaming a "client-centered approach." An approach that is effective for that specific client and their individuals needs and goals. This will always assure the best results for someone to reach their full potential. It is very difficult, nearly impossible to do this with oversized classroom with students who all have different needs. 1 teacher:40students is an unacceptable ratio.
4. Post-poned Standardize Test Results
Those standardize tests that schools don't receive until the following year? Statistical use, but a child who scores low will go off to the next school year still behind. It is hard to address deficits in our system if we get to a point where it's too late to address the current needs of students.
5. Continued Budget Cuts of the Arts
The most SUCCESSFUL beings think for themselves. they structure their lives based on thier strengths and talents. they master a way to win in life with elements of themselves. arts, rather it be visual or performing, is a place where all children can explore themselves outside of structure. the school is too structured; too black and white. many other subjects (while important) offer a "right or wrong"; not particularly promoting plasticity of the brain or self exploration; both needed for good development. ALSO, an evidence supported tool improving deficits specifically with mental illness and special needs students.
6. No Child Left Behind???
Pretty much every child left behind. REAUTHORIZATION of the elementary and secondary education act under the bush administration; was specifically aimed for disadvantaged students to reach grade-level standards and not be held back year-after-year because of these disadvantages. the act seemed to have good intent, but failed to strongly implicate programs and resources to improve these DISADVANTAGEs. This is an ongoing issue resulting in many title 1 students moving through the school system with low reading levels and understanding in other academic areas; graduating high school left behind.
7. Lack of services for special needs/mental health children
this is a hard one. either these students are alienated into their own special classrooms or they are included into classes with others. inclusion is a great way to shape special needs students to the "real world" and tap into their true potential. however, inclusion in oversized classrooms with lack of supportive services, such as teacher aids who specialize in special needs, can negatively effect the student, educators, and other children. educators may be stretched thin while trying to accommodate children with modified learning plans while also teaching general ed courses. special-needs aids may take on tasks of the general ed teacher in order to maintain class productivity in oversize classrooms.
on the other hand, alienated classrooms can limit true potential. it is not functional to only promote one's ability to thrive in an environment that does not challenge them or is not skeptical to experiences outside of school/past grade school. yet, every child is different. less time spent labeling and categorizing and more time individualizing educational plans. maybe inclusion is better for some subjects, but not all. more special needs/mental health advocates should be present during IEPs to provide an opinion that is not based on confinement. special education is growing in this country, but awareness on how the school system can greatly effect their ability to function past grade school is key.
8. Low Advocation of Sexual Health
wE GET OUR FIRST SEX ED COURSE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, TOUCHING ON WHAT TO EXPECT OUR BODIES TO GO THROUGH. WE ALSO GOT ANOTHER 1 OR 2 IN HIGH SCHOOL THAT WENT A LOT MORE IN DEPTH ON SEX, STDs, and other risks. im not sure if it was because i grew up in the south, but they were both just one or two days out of the school year and parents had to sign PERMISSION forms allowing children to attend. is sex really that awkward and dangerous of a topic than history or science????????? did you send home permission slips for history classes that base CURRICULUM on text books that largely diminish african american and women suffrage? that claim to "explain" history, but don't decode the truth of those topics? do you send home permission slips for science classes that teach theories of evolution that largely go against many spiritual beliefs? why is it the place that is suppose to educate largely fails to educate our children on these topics? of course some of you are saying "that's a parent's job." of course, but parents have jobs. the students spend 7 hours a day, the majority of the year, for k-12th grades here and we can count the number of times this topic is discussed. we are somewhat dependent on the school system to help raise our children; this needs to be more thoroughly educated. many middle/ high school students suffer with sexual identities resulting in low self esteem and unhealthy choices. we need to lift our students in areas of their sexual identity, because they will find education through other unreliable sources.
state funding is often determined by individuals who obtain/seek political offices. a question comes into play if decisions regarding our educational system are solely based on the honest intentions for students or political strategies and personal gain.