What are the issues facing our educational system in America?
Our educational system has faced and is facing many issues which affect the viability of the entire system. Many of the issues surround government control of the process while others can be resolved within the structure of the system. The education of the leaders of tomorrow must include a viable system which is efficient and provides the mechanism to enhance the knowledge of the students within it.
To begin our educational system has several factors surrounding government involvement at the federal and state government level. This is not to say that government should not be involved with the education of our youth who are the leaders of tomorrow but how much governments should be involved. Education is a critical element of our society and one which will have and has had immense impact of providing educated employees for private industry.
At the federal level we have the Department of Education for which some feel should be abolished. This position in some respects has some merits but in others it does not. It is important to measure our educational system as to how it compares to other industrialized countries. This can only be accurately accomplished at the federal level which the resources available. Another aspect which makes sense is statistical data as to educational trends within the country including segments which are lacking interest by students to fill future needs.
One area for which criticism seems to be prevalent is the evaluation of schools and their success rate. There are many aspects involved in measuring the success of individual schools not the least of which is the ethnic background of the student population. Different ethnic backgrounds comprised in either a single school system or a singular ethnic background in a school system needs to have the criteria for measuring success adjusted. The capability of students in our educational system is not the issue but the tools available to teachers to address individual ethnic needs. Any student can learn it is the approach used that can be the difference to success or failure. In measuring success the main point in the evaluation criteria to be identified is criteria results at the beginning and at the end. This is how success should be measured for a school.
We as a nation have established many criteria to evaluate many segments of society including education. The main point when these are established should be the criteria will reflect an accurate evaluation of the segment involved. Many aspects affect the success of individual schools in our educational system and to single out schools for success or failure without considering all the variables within specific schools systems is wrong. In this respect establishing one set of criteria to measure all schools does not provide an adequate evaluation.
This is only one issue facing our educational system.
In today’s economic environment another issues is the financial resources of the various school districts across the country. Some manage their finances in a responsible manner while others do not. The key in this area involves the opinion of voters who must authorize additional revenue when schools require more funds. An efficiently run school district will have a better chance of success in asking for additional revenue if this can be projected to voters. This is a difficult task to accomplish in many instances. Incidents as to salaries and benefits of all personnel come under scrutiny in financial hard times. This may not always be justified but it is an aspect school districts must manage. Teachers deserve to be adequately compensated for the work they do. Those who exceed the expectations as determined by proper evaluation criteria should be rewarded.
Another aspect schools face is the quality of the education a school district provides based on community and in some cases national opinion. Quality and integrity are two critical aspects needed in our educational system and if it exists and I am not saying it does not, it needs to be projected to those who will make decisions regarding revenue requests and in some cases whether additional businesses will decide to either expand or move into the area. This can or will affect the revenue schools receive. The more jobs in a community the more tax revenue a community receives and can ultimately are allocated to schools.
Other aspects facing school districts are the need to evolve into the technological age we now find ourselves in. The schools of today must embrace the technological advances to adequately prepare students to be a viable part of society when they enter the workforce. Understanding the technological opportunities and programs is something schools must provide to help students be better able to compete in the new technological world. The problem associated with this need involves cost and how to keep within the financial resources available while utilizing the technology available.
An indirect issue involved with the technology improvements is the training of teachers now in place within our school districts. Some teachers may not have been exposed to the technological advantages now in place as it was not a part of the academic environment in which they received their degree. Other teachers were involved in the technology opportunities and understand how they can improve the quality of education they can provide. Teachers must be able to understand and be cable of utilizing the technological advances to better teach the subjects for which they have responsibility. Training for teachers may require some costs while others can be obtained through various organizations for little or no cost.
Last but not least is the qualifications and quantity of teachers available to teach specific subjects. I am a strong supporter of our educational system and the importance of what it provides. Teachers today should not be assigned to teach subjects for which their degree is not associated or for which they have not received no training. Assigning teachers to fill positions for which no available teacher for the subject is an issue which schools must address through whatever resources are available. It is imperative that qualified teachers for all subjects be provided to enhance the results and quality of the subjects being taught.