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Energy and Education Policy for Us

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The purpose of the United States’ public policy law is to implement restrictions in an effort to solve problems. As mindfulness about the presence and the impacts of environmental change, and controversies over the common and standard educational system increases, governments progressively authorize energy and educational arrangements. The effectiveness of oversight and enforcement of regulatory reform initiatives in the day‐to‐day world of rule making, unfortunately is often doubtful. My proposition reveals insight into the need for energy and education policies to further the health of ourselves, nature as a whole, and increase educational productivity. Two important issues facing the United States are the struggle to lessen dependence on oil and whether education standards are more or less beneficial for the american education system. On the issue of the struggle to decrease the US’s dependence on oil, the best policy to follow is to decrease the US’s dependence on oil due to its environmental impact. On the issue of educational standards the best policy to follow is to reform and change the Common Core used in most schools today due to its cutting off of creativity.

In the year 2008, by seeking feedback from teachers, school administrators, and other educational experts, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, a group of officials from the education department of each state of the US, began developing a set of educational standards. Two sets of criteria addressing English and mathematics have been published, and according to the Common Core website they ‘establish guidelines for English language arts (ELA) as well as for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects’ (Preparing America’s Students for Success). In April 2013, a proposal opposing the Common Core was adopted by the Republican National Committee, and Republican governors withdrew from previous support in the face of public opposition and what they called faulty implementation (Educational Standards and Curriculum).

Common core spokespersons have stressed that the initiative has released guidelines, not a curriculum and claim that educators still have “considerable leeway on how they choose to teach required skills to children.” Opponents, on the other hand, have claimed that the standards are so extensive that, in some ways, “Common Core is a curriculum that limits opportunities for creative lesson planning” (Educational Standards and Curriculum).

New York released the results of its first round of Common Core testing in August 2014, completed with Regents tests that included Common Core standards earlier in the year. According to the New York State Education Department, the percentage of third to eighth grade students scoring at the proficient level and above in mathematics rose from 31.2 to 35.8, while the scores of English-skilled students rose from 31.3 to 31.4. The improvements were fairly small, causing for more arguments on whether the system should be entirely adopted or not. Months later The Every Student Success Act (ESSA) was passed by Congress in December 2015. ESSA requires states to develop, maintain and test students on standards of education. Nevertheless, the new law does not require that the federal government keeps schools responsible for their results. Through ESSA, states are responsible and held accountable for adhering to teaching standards for their own schools. The law also prohibits the federal government from requiring states to comply with any particular set of standards.

Partisans of national educational standards make the argument that it is essential to rethink the education system in the United States to set challenging standards and monitor the progress of students with standardized exams. According to supporters of these common standards, they encourage success in academic performance across the country. Supporters argue that the common core teaches and establishes necessary skills students need to succeed in life and that it will “ensure that students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need to get a good job or succeed in college,’ asserted Bill gates in an October 2015 speech (Educational Standards and Curriculum).

While many people support the idea, many others find standardized testing and the Common Core to be greatly flawed. Opposers believe that the creators of standards “mistakenly assume that one curriculum is right for everyone” and that the idea won’t suit everyone’s needs like they suggest it would. Opposers also argue that the assumption is especially startling when it’s noticed “how few of the reformers ever taught or taught for more than two years as members of Teach for America.” According to opponents, the standardized tests are profoundly flawed as a teaching tool because they suppress imagination, creativity, and unique thinking; which are things that should be encouraged for students (Settling for Scores). Critics also argue that common core standards were imposed on students without first being thoroughly evaluated. Diane Ravitch stated that ‘They are being imposed on the children of this nation despite the fact that no one has any idea how they will affect students, teachers, or schools” (Educational Standards and Curriculum).

The best policy is to get Common Core changed and reevaluated. Unfortunately common core hasn’t allowed much other than what’s seen as standard to be accepted and taught in schools. Some policies should be made against Common Core and educational standards to further the creativity of students in schools and to allow for students to demonstrate their full potential. Not all students think and evaluate information in the same way, and each individual student should be able to convey what they think, whether it is the correct way to do so or not. Students should be able to find the answers to problems in what way works best for them, not what works best for the majority of students, or what is seen as the best way by others.

The rise of the automotive industry in the early 20th century generated demand for oil, and in 1916 the United States government started offering funding to help energy companies discover, process, and extract oil. As national energy supplies failed to meet the demand of oil due to the tremendous increase in use of automobiles, U.S. and European companies set up projects in oil-rich regions, such as Latin America and the Middle East. A few years later World War II greatly intensified the need for petroleum even further, resulting in the development of large pipelines for the distribution of crude oil and refined oil for consumer and military applications. The years following the war , however, the United States started to import increasing amounts of oil from foreign countries, and its own production declined (Environmental Encyclopedia). Oil supplies improved all through the 1980s and 1990s, resulting in lower fuel prices, and vehicles such as minivans and SUVs to become popular. Furthermore, there was a debate on the impact of human actions on the environment and whether new policies were needed to control pollution.

Soon after the election in January 2001, President George W. Bush set up a commission to investigate the weaknesses of national energy policy and suggest a set of legislative alternatives. However, the conclusions of President George W. Bush were widely criticized. In his 2007 State of the Union address, President Bush discussed proposals to reduce US dependence on foreign energy resources.

A few months later, the U.S energy policy was placed in the hands of a new president; Barack Obama. In 2008 Obama vowed to change the US’s energy policy. In his speech acknowledging the Democratic nomination, he said that he expected that generations to come would see his presidency as ‘the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.’ One of President Obama’s early efforts was to support cap-and-trade program, which Republicans and Liberals strongly criticized. Republicans calling it an unwarranted interference into private business relations. In 2013 Obama delivered a key speech on new energy policy initiatives, vowing to use executive authority and new EPA regulations to adopt policies aimed at combating climate change. Despite the controversy and disagreements, the climate change action plan promised to bring energy policy debate back to the national spotlight in the last few years of Obama’s presidency.

Many people disagree with the ideas and propositions that US leaders propose. Opponents of the energy policies that focus solely on fossil fuels claim that the United States should develop a comprehensive policy that protects both customers and the environment, instead of simply reacting to rising and falling fuel costs. Such proposals ‘will shutter power plants, destroy good-paying American jobs and raise electricity bills’ House Speaker John Boehner said after Obama’s speech on June 25th 2013. Others expressed concern that current EPA provisions would completely shut down coal-fired power plants, which still represent a significant source of energy in the United States. Opponents also claim that incorporating some recommendations could intensify damage to the environment, claiming that the US needs to “undertake cleaner energy alternatives, including solar and wind power, rather than promoting and increasing oil use” (Energy Policy). Supporters also claim that in order to stop climate change, replacing greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels with cleaner, renewable energy sources is necessary and the U.S. government should adopt policies aimed at deterring the use of fossil fuels and subsidizing renewable energy technology. (Renewable Energy).

Supporters of expanding domestic production of coal and oil argue that promoting oil exploration and permitting more drilling will reduce the price of gasoline, generate thousands of jobs, yield dividends long after its construction and provide millions of dollars in annual value. ‘That benefit would go to the people who work to build the pipeline, motorists who buy the gasoline, workers and companies that produce the oil, and the government that collects taxes from all the rest,’ said James Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego. Advocates of increasing domestic manufacturing of coal and oil also contend that renewable energy sources ultimately can not satisfy the energy requirements of the United States and that “for the time being, there are no realistic alternatives to fossil fuels” (Energy Policy). Supporters claim that renewable energy sources are not yet good alternatives to fossil fuels, and the US should continue producing oil, natural gas, and coal domestically in order to keep up with other countries (Renewable Energy).

The best policy is to lessen the US’s dependence on oil. This policy should be followed and expanded on because of the horrible impact that oil and gas consumption has on our environment. Although it can be argued that there’s not enough renewable energy to support the need of energy of the US, we should indulge in policies and laws to further the amount of renewable energy sources that are available, and how many oil and gas sources are available to consumers.

Although many people disagree with the policies that should be taken into action to improve the productivity of students and the health environment in the US, the policies to lessen the US’s dependence on oil and to change the current educational standards of the US should be followed. These policies are necessary because of the flawed Common Core system used by most states of the U.S, and the incredibly horrible environmental impact that the US’s dependence on oil has to this day.  

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