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Role of Education in The United States

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If we take a look at colleges today, we can see that they mostly revolve around drinking and partying, if we take a look at the values of education and how much they’ve changed in the past decade. Education is very important when it comes to getting better paying jobs and ensure that one who has a degree receives the better benefits as oppose people who did not get a degree. Going to school in two different countries, I learned that education in America is going to school because we have to be someone, as oppose to my country where we attend school because the state of our country requires people to take action into bettering the economy. This is what third world countries teach their children, children are the future of course and educating young minds into valuing school and bettering themselves and their societies. In their articles, Brent Staples and Lynda Barry turn the reader’s attention to the state of the educational system and the negative economic effect on this system. Why are these topics so important? These topics are so important because education is what makes our economy work, not just that it teaches us how to live our everyday lives, how to read, write, speak, ect. An education is a crucial thing to have no matter how big or small, or where it comes from, having knowledge makes us progress as human beings.

What matters most when it comes down to an education? Today people want to have names of schools that are prestigious and who offer the students with a name. Will a job hire someone who attended Harvard with no experience as oppose to someone who attended Georgia state college who actually took the time and effort into building their experience? Georgia State of course, as a student I ask myself if my degree is what will get me to land a great job, the answer lies on how much work I’m willing to put into my academics and how I choose to use my free time. In his article Brent Staples mentions “The consumer appetite for less rigorous education is nowhere more evident than in the University of Phoenix” (Staples 1066) I believe he uses this as an example of the decreasing value of education. Staples was talking about our decrease in appreciation for academics in college, how this coincides with social class is that those who go to college and have the money for it are the ones who don’t value education. It’s simple really, they only attend college because it is something they believe should be done, not because they want to become educated folk themselves, while having said this, it is not mostly true. Education is valued by those who want to make themselves more productive citizens, no matter who it is, poor or rich, it solely comes down to how much work one invests in their education. Same thing goes for a celebrity and a regular person, the Kylie Jenner is a good example, she completed high school and went on to open up her business for lipstick. This leaves the question if social class has anything to do with success or more importantly education.

Social status does not change education, but one’s respect and or preference for learning. Motivation and economics have changed the face of education in the past decade, so what can we do to solve it? “One way to Stanch inflation is to change the way the grade point average is calculated.” (Staples 1067) in this point he makes he gives us a solution to this problem the education system is facing, but it is not that easy. Too many people have become used to this new form of teaching and are not too comfortable to see it got, or they just do not want to work as hard as they should. Why do we attend school? Each of us has a different reason for it, like Barry when she mentions “It was a world I absolutely relied on” (Barry 859) School was a safe place for her, it was her place to feel comfortable in. From a personal level, I am here in college because I have the ambition to motivate my younger brother to also attend college but also because I want to help others through my degree. One can say that I fall on both spectrums of why people attend college, I’m here because I have to and because I value education. I say that I’m here because I have to be, not because I am forced to but because this is what my spirit tells me to do, I seek an education to inspire not just my family but myself.

Barry and Staples have very different articles, but each share a similar opinion to the education system and how it has decreased. Although Barry talks about her emotional connection to school and education, “Without it, I don’t know where I would have gone that morning.” (Barry 859) and Staple discusses the hard facts of the state of the educational system, “In some cases, campuswide averages have crept up from a C just 10 years ago to a B-plus today.” (Staples1065). Though different they do share the common idea that education is being taken for granted and more importantly that the government takes advantage of this. Barry explains why the children of America are being failed when it comes to delivering their academics, that it is necessary to cut the budget of public schools and those after school programs and extracurricular activities. She raises the point that she found peace with these activities and helped save her life, and that cutting these programs would deny the opportunity to a child who may be going through the same situation she once had. Staples discusses the school system failing to properly educate college students and that colleges are being blackmailed by their students into giving their student a passing grade, and these grades are what ranks these schools, turning them into a business.

What has become of the education system? It has become an issue, and I believe that this will continue to grow in America and will get to the point where education will be limited, in the sense that most people that will want to attend college, will be those who want to attend because they want to, not because it is a “norm” of society.

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Role of Education in the United States. (2019, August 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from
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