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Transcript of Education
Out of nearly 5,000 charter schools across the country, 217 are virtual or cyber charter schools.
An Arizona State University study of virtual schools critiqued Knowledge Universe, a mix of online schools. "The curriculum is not interesting and it promotes a one-size-fits-all approach. The instruction is mechanical and the system does not encourage creativity."
For example, when students are faced with working on online classes, several distractions pop up which would be preventable in a classroom. Things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr are all distractions that students face when left to work on classes at home.
Students also prove to understand the topics better when covered by an instructor talking to them face to face rather than talking over the phone.
Quality of Education
Controversial Issues in Education
No Child Left Behind
Importance of Education
Children gain knowledge about a standard range of subjects from English and history to mathematics and science. They also learn social skills and are exposed to different people and ideas.
Educational achievement is the single largest influence on an individual’s future earning power.
Because of the importance of education, Americans want citizens, not politicians, to have as much control over it as possible.
This attitude has resulted in strong local control over schools. In the 1990s, parents moved to gain even greater control over their children’s education by demanding some choice in schools, experimenting with homeschooling, and sending their children to charter schools.
Local policies often come into conflict with federal laws, however, and many aspects of today’s educational system lead to political controversy and legal debate.
A solution for the pressures of standardized testing would be to move the tests to the end of the year, instead of having students test multiple times throughout the year. Doing this will give the teachers more room to teach rather than having to teach to the test. Along with that, we shouldn't have a single standardized test decide the future of a student. By taking this off, students won't feel as pressured when taking the exams.
For school funding, a solution would be for the government to cut spending in other places where it may not be needed, and to focus on giving money to both schools and colleges so they can improve their equipment and buildings.
A solution for the lack of a sustainable business model for colleges is to reassess what are and are not necessary expenditures and readjust the budgets and tuition accordingly so that more people can afford the whole tuition and more people will be able to pay off debts to a college. The government could also start setting aside more funds for universities as sending Americas students to college is important because many job opportunities today are given to someone with a college degree. Sports funding should be self-sustaining, the money that sports teams bring in is what should be spent on these teams as many of them bring in large sums of money and should have no problem using their earnings on the upkeep of their teams and some teams may even have excess funds. Sports should be funded after academics are accounted for.
For cross-cultural comparisons, as a country we should change our education system to be similar to other industrialized nations. For example, we could run the educational system in a similar way that some other countries do. We could let the national government runs the educational system through a ministry of education. This would reduces local control but also eliminates many of the inequalities in spending in the United States. Also, our education system could be less comprehensive. We could be like other developed nations and have separate academic and vocational schools, to which students are assigned at an early age. This would allow students to take classes that pertain to their desired career choice.
A solution of some of the controversial issues in education is giving parents more control over their children's education.
Institutes of higher learning include colleges and universities, and vocational, technical, or trade schools that award academic degrees or certificates.
As of 2007, more than 18 million students of all ages were enrolled in American institutions of higher learning. In 2009 this number increased to 20.4 million students. No other country sends a greater percentage of its citizens to colleges or universities.
A wide variety of schools provides education beyond the secondary level. About 4,300 colleges and universities offer associate’s (two-year) or bachelor’s (four-year) degrees, and many also award master’s and doctoral degrees.
Quality of Education
There are many problems with the United States' education system in comparison to other countries.
The American system of elementary and secondary education differs quite dramatically from that of other industrialized nations.
In Japan and most European countries, the national government runs the educational system through a ministry of education.
This system reduces local control but also eliminates many of the inequalities in spending that exist in the United States.
Also, the use of standardized national curricula and exams helps ensure that degrees from different schools have equal value.
Most American secondary schools are comprehensive, which means that they include both academic and vocational training.
Many other developed nations, however, have separate academic and vocational schools to which students are assigned at an early age.
In Germany, for example, students who show academic promise at age ten are selected to enroll in an academic high school called a gymnasium.
Those who are considered less suited for higher education enter vocational schools.
Graduates of vocational high schools usually continue to advanced vocational schooling or an apprenticeship program, combining both classroom and on-the-job training.
The problem with higher education is that a college's business model in which High-income families are the target of recruitment because they will pay full tuition.
Leaving lower income students with less chance of attending an elite school and achieving high career goals (Freedman).
The problem with high-quality institutions targeting high-income students is that they don't even inform most low-income but bright and well qualified students of their institution removing an opportunity for a majority of students to better themselves and their socio-economic standings.
If a college's population were to accurately represent the demographic of students that are qualified to attend there would be two low-income students for every one high-income students (Freedman).
Public universities are having problems supporting their business models as well as states start allocating less and less funding the schools have to shift the burden of supporting the colleges from the states to the students (Freedman).
College business models are currently unsustainable as they can not keep raising tuition and finding families to realistically be able to pay for the whole tuition and this is a problem (Freedman).
The money to support public schools comes almost exclusively from local property taxes and grants from state governments, however, each of these sources accounts for just under half of the funding of public schools.
The federal government provides less than 10% of the money for public schools.
State and federal funds typically come as grants to school districts that meet certain requirements.
One of the effects of local funding is that wealthier communities are able to spend far more money per student than poorer ones. For example, wealthier communities can afford newer and better buildings, textbooks, and instructional equipment. They can also attract teachers by paying them more.
"Robin Hood" was created so that richer districts can redistribute tax dollars to the poorer ones.
However, richer districts are still able to spend more money on education than poorer districts.
These differences in organization produce profoundly different educational choices and outcomes.
In the U.S almost two-thirds of high school graduates go on to some form of higher education,
About 25 percent of American students who enter college eventually receive a bachelor’s degree.
The German system of higher education includes a variety of technical schools as well as traditional universities.
About 25 percent of German students enter university and about 15 percent receive a university diploma, which is comparable to a master’s degree in the United States.
In countries such as Germany, test results determine the course of a person’s schooling, education is strongly related to the type of career the person pursues.
In the United States, however, career decisions are typically delayed until college or even after. An individual’s academic studies often have little or no relation to the eventual career choice.
In an increasingly diverse public school setting, there is not one educational pedagogy that fits all students. All types of schools study and discuss differentiated curriculum, modify teaching strategies, and set "just right reading levels" to scaffold student learning.
With the pressure placed on teachers to get students to score high on standardized tests, teachers are now forced to "teach to the test," which is taking education away from students.
Today, because of NCLB, all 50 states have some form of standardized testing whereby students are tested every year, beginning in the 3rd grade. In many states, 1st- and 2nd-graders are also tested. And, in some states, kindergartners are tested regularly as well.
The assumption surrounding current testing methods is that children will be motivated to learn when the associated rewards and consequences are made clear. Yet, researchers have consistently found that an approach based on extrinsic rewards and consequences actually reduces children's intrinsic motivation to learn. Because of high-stakes testing and the pressure that surrounds it, children are no longer engaged in enriching experiences for the pure joy of learning—experiences whereby they make decisions, explore options, make hypotheses, or problem solve.
Children are now under increased pressure to perform on demand, memorize mundane facts and figures, and sit for long periods of time while listening to the teacher and/or filling in circles on a worksheet.
Abraha, Weintana. "Online Charters May Fail Students and Reduce Public School Funding." Charter Schools. Ed. Margaret Haerens and Lynn M. Zott. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Cyber Charter Schools: The End of Public Education or a New Beginning?" Atlanta Post. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
"Education." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1. Dec. 2014.
Freedman, Josh. "Affordable Higher Education Could Be a Great Equalizer." The Wage Gap. Ed. Noël Merino. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2014. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Why American Colleges Are Becoming a Force for Inequality." Atlantic (16 May 2013). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
Hobart, Susan J. "No Child Left Behind Is Harmful and Should Not Be Funded."
. Lynn Zott. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "One Teacher's Cry: Why I Hate No Child Left Behind." The Progressive (Aug. 2008).
Opposing Viewpoints in Context
. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
Solley, Bobbie A. "Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools."
. Ed. David Haugen and Susan Musser. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "On Standardized Testing: An ACEI Position Paper."
(Fall 2007): 31-37.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context
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Some of the most hotly debated topics in education deal with who should control the schooling of America’s children.
Parents’ desire to have a strong voice in their children’s education has often led to conflicts with government policies.
Two particularly controversial areas are freedom of expression and school choice.
Many American parents have begun to search for alternatives to traditional public schools.
Some object to lack of religious or moral instruction in schools. Others complain about the poor quality of public school education with too many inadequately trained teachers and overcrowded classrooms.
Some worry about safety in the schools. Still others believe that public schools are not spending tax dollars effectively.
Parents who are dissatisfied with public schools have always been free to send their children to private or religious schools, but many cannot afford the cost of these schools.
These parents feel that their children should be allowed to attend any public school instead of being forced to attend neighborhood schools of poor quality.
Some school districts have adopted a voucher system that allows parents to enroll their children in schools with higher ratings instead of neighborhood schools.
The voucher entitles the school to receive state funding equal to the cost of educating a student in the local school. In some places, students can use vouchers to attend a private school.
Supporters claim that vouchers have benefits beyond giving parents greater control over their children’s education.
They argue that vouchers promote academic quality and efficiency by rewarding better-performing schools.
They also claim that vouchers force weaker schools to be more competitive to avoid losing good students.
Opponents fear that the use of vouchers will only make weak schools weaker by removing the best students and leaving them to deal with the least prepared and most disruptive ones.
Others object to the use of vouchers to divert public tax dollars to private schools, particularly to those that promote a particular religious viewpoint.
The constitutionality of some publicly financed voucher programs has been challenged.
In one important case, the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Grant Program was found to violate the religious establishment clause of the US Constitution. In June 2002 the Supreme Court reversed the appeals court decision and, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the school vouchers were not unconstitutional.
Freedom of Expression:
Before 1960 American schools decided what kind of ideas to which students were exposed.
They sponsored prayers and Bible readings and had students take part in patriotic activities, such as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Beginning in the 1960s, however, the Supreme Court ruled such activities unconstitutional. It decided that school sponsorship of religious activities violated the First Amendment doctrine of separation of church and state.
It found compelling students to participate in patriotic activities to be inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of expression.
Many people believe it was a mistake to remove prayer from public schools.
They often blame such actions for increasing violence and moral decay in society.
Some parents responded by sending their children to private schools that are free to teach whatever religious and civic beliefs they choose.
Those who support the Supreme Court’s decisions in these matters point out that trying to impose particular religious or social viewpoints in school goes against traditional American concepts of freedom.