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Movie Review: Political Science John Stossel argument Stupid in America video

Updated on July 11, 2015

In his video “Stupid in America”, Stossel argues that the country’s education system is below the acceptable standards. In one of American public schools he visits, Stossel finds teenagers dressed like derelicts. These students crawl on the class floor, climb on their desks, play cards and even make noises in the presence of the teacher. One boy is seen dancing during class time and strips to the waist. Interestingly, the chaotic school described by Stossel happens to be in one of the many public schools in the country.

One of the major problems in American education system as depicted by Stossel is the emphasis on standardized tests. These tests fail to take into consideration the creativity and talents of individual learners. This failure is also attributed to poor education policies, poor administration, rising violence, increased sexual activity, drug use and crime in public schools. Stossel’s conception has only served to reinforce the long time understanding that American public education was and still is in turmoil.

It is paramount for the country to borrow a leaf from the education system of countries like South Korea and Finland. These two countries have continued to lead in their education systems. The current education system in United States mandates that students from third to eighth grades seat at least one standardized test per year. These standardized tests are referred to as End of Grade exams. As shown by Ripley (24), the outcomes of these tests have a diverse impact on learners, schools, teachers and school districts. This system makes educators emphasize on rot learning (learning by cramming) instead of creating a well-rounded person. South Korea prohibits standardized testing and rot learning and is considered to be among the countries that offer quality education (Ripley 13). Finland, another country whose education system is ranked highly, is depicted as harboring a curriculum that stipulates less homework, without rot learning and emphasizes on creative works. It is suggested that America has to incorporate such policies in order to create a sound education system.

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