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America has always been recognized as the land of opportunities or the land of prosperity. In fact, America was based on several revolutionary principals including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. One of the biggest issues that America currently faces is its inadequate public education system. Initially, the American public education system was one of the best learning structures available. Today however, there are several issues surrounding this nation’s public education system. The main issues about America’s public education system are the disciplinary measures that take place and the accuracy of the state mandated exams.
The purpose of having a code of social conduct in schools is so that the schools can minimize the amount of behavioral infractions caused by the students. Theoretically speaking, utilizing this disciplinary system should be enough to deter the students with poor dispositions. Since the genesis of the disciplinary system, the control that disciplinarians had over their students has faded greatly. According to the City Journal, “Over the past 30 years or so, the courts and the federal government have hacked away at the power of educators to maintain a safe and civil school environment” (City Journal). The authority of the teacher has been destructed over time and as a result of moral differences and societal influences that dictate how a school should be run. The City Journal goes on to say that “kids today are more likely than ever to go to disorderly schools, whose only answers to the disorder are ham-fisted rules and therapeutic techniques designed to manipulate students’ behavior, rather than to initiate them into a genuine civil and moral order” (City Journal). If students do not receive the appropriate disciplinary attention that they need to be successful, then the authoritative bodies in control of the situation are failing at their jobs and positions. If the individuals in charge of a situation cannot control the inappropriate actions of the students, then the students are heading towards failure and possibly even harsher punishments.
One of the biggest issues that occur in the educational world is making sure that students properly learn the material that they are being taught. This practice is called “learning for understanding”. Students must be able to truly remember and comprehend the information they are subjected to. This form of pedagogy was initially used by the early authoritative individuals. After a while, it became evident that not all students could learn material at the same pace. Because of this realization, the United States Government established a standard for learning and how much material a student should be able to understand at a given time. To achieve this standard, each state in America must have their students take an exam to demonstrate their knowledge. According to James Popham of the Educational Leadership Society, “These days, if a school’s standardized test scores are high, people think the school’s staff is effective. If a school’s standardized test scores are low, they see the school’s staff as ineffective. In either case, because educational quality is being measured by the wrong yardstick, those evaluations are apt to be in error” (Popham). According to this statement, the government is more focused on high test score as opposed to the students truly learning the material. As a result, students learn how to become decent test takers. With that being the case, the students lose their motivation to truly learn and gain knowledge. A nation without knowledge is a harmful to the individuals that live in that nation.
Generally speaking, the students and children in school today will be in control of the nation in the relatively near future. In order for this nation to be successful, the United States Government needs to understand the moral values of the people. One of the biggest deterrents from a proper education would be the amount of social conduct that people feel is necessary for success. However, it is more harmful to students when they only receive information and then regurgitate it after an exam or test. The government and the United States School Board need to fully understand the value of knowledge and what it truly means to society. Government officials constantly question as to why the United States education system is performing so poorly. The answer to their questions can be found in the morals of the people who form this nation.
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