If you read the daily newspapers or tune in to the nightly news you may get a bad taste in your mouth. Worse, if you listen to your child after a long day at school you may also get an uncomfortable feeling. Yes, it does seem that the educational system is broken and, yes, it may be beyond repair.
There are many fractures in the fault line of the educational system. Ask parents, students, and yes, even teachers, and you will find plenty of examples. The disintegration of the educational system is due to a variety of factors.
In recent years the spate of school shootings and other violence has irreparably tarnished public and private schools. Fighting in school is up and worse, it seems that laws to protect the educational rights of students who cause many of the problems in schools actually hurt the students who come to learn every day. In many schools students can get away with bullying, fighting, stealing, and disrupting the classroom environment. They may get suspended for a short time, but usually they return and pick up where they left off. In order to save money on programs for children with special needs, schools have begun to widely mainstream students requiring special education needs into regular classrooms.
While this effort is meant with good intentions, it does not always bear fruit. Oftentimes, this combination of students can do more harm than good. When you think back to your time in school how many excellent teachers can you recall? Nearly everyone can think of one or two, if you can think of more than that you should consider yourself lucky.
There are many excellent teachers in schools; however, there are even more unqualified teachers. Due to the need for teachers and the poor environment offered by many school districts, teachers who are unqualified are often hired. Many teachers are given second and third chances after they have proven to be inept at previous schools. The pay for teachers is notoriously low in many states and this does not lend itself to a highly motivated and highly qualified workforce. The education system is indeed broken.
Besides a lack of funding leading to the use of outdated books, few computers, the lack of opportunity for field trips and hands-on learning, it seems that the entire framework of education is coming apart at the seams. The only way the education system can be repaired is through massive funding and a strong dedication by society to make the system work. With treasury coffers fairly empty this does not look like it will happen anytime soon.
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