Are Public Schools Becoming a Joke?
Aug 25, 2010 Other 2483 Views
Despite all the extra funding and support that taxpayers have provided for the public school system, the results have continued to be largely dismal. As a country, the United States has fallen behind the educational levels of students in other much smaller and less advantaged countries. Although plenty of money has been pumped into the national public school system, it hasn't seemed to help. When one looks more closely at the problem, it appears that the problems go deeper than what money can easily solve.
Where Does the Money Go?
According to financial records, public schools have a higher per-pupil budget than charter and private schools. Yet, it seems as though the public schools are continuously running out of money. When they do run out, they simply ask for more funding, and in most cases, eventually they get it. It doesn't seem as though the schools have any incentive to cut expenses and stick to their budget. When you look at the records since 1960, the amount of money spent per student, after adjusting for inflation, has more than tripled. Yet, the quality of education doesn't seem to have increased along with the cost.
Lack of Educational Accountability
In addition to an apparent lack of accountability in regards to spending their funds, there also doesn't appear to be much accountability in regards to educational standards. Although proficiency test results for public school students are embarrassingly low, the schools providing the students with this substandard education do not seem to be held accountable. As compared to other countries, U.S. students rank far lower on mathematics and science assessment tests. Low income students fare especially poorly, with more than half of them struggling in even basic reading, science, math and history skills. Yet, the schools that are turning out these uneducated students are not being held accountable. Teachers don't lose their jobs, and schools do not lose their funding... the only ones losing out are the students. It's becoming increasingly common for students to realize, once they enter the workforce or college, that they are unprepared for life's future challenges, due to their public school education.
Too Much Politics, Not Enough Education
Although the public school system doesn't seem to care about the concerns of the parents and students, they do seem to care about politicians and school boards. Unfortunately, schools often spend more time catering to the personal and political agendas of these influences than they spend on the students' needs. In many cases, this only serves to add more expenses to an already costly educational system. Perhaps more power should be given to the parents and the concerned teachers, with less power given to the politicians. Instead of wasting money on political agendas and educational strategies that don't seem to work, perhaps more attention should be focused on the needs of the students.
Even the proficiency tests that were supposed to insure that "no child is left behind" aren't working. Instead of helping insure proficiency, these tests seem to insure that teachers will spend more time "training" students to pass the test, and less time actually teaching them. If struggling students were given more help, and gifted students were given more advanced opportunities, everyone could benefit. Instead, teachers are often forced to use the same educational plans for all students, benefiting no one. Perhaps it's about time some logic and reason are used in the public school system, instead of just trying to prop it up with more money.