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Will American Education Crash?

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Autor:  anton  08 June 2011
Tags:  American,  Education
Words: 1187   |   Pages: 5
Views: 297

Will American Education Crash?

Like the stock market, American education has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, today American education is coming closer and closer to crashing. If the stock market crashes people lose millions of dollars. If American education crashes the country will lose millions of intelligent young minds. Just as if a stock holder was to make poor choices, people everywhere today are making bad choices with how students across America are being taught. This will lead to the downfall of education for our younger population. What are the bad choices leading to this downfall? Michael Moore, Benjamin Barber, Ted Gest, and other writers agree that there are a number of problems with the way our educational system works in America. The writers suggest that the main problems are the way teachers are being treated, the lack of government funding, and corporate sponsorship in schools.

Moore’s essay “Idiot Nation” and “Tough Choices or Tough Times” both agree that the way teachers are treated contribute to the problem in American education. Moore believes that hard working teachers do not receive the respect they deserve. For example, Moore says that “teachers are now politicians’ favorite punching bag” (160). He also explains that “The vast majority are dedicated educators who have chosen a profession that pays them less than what some of their students earn selling Ecstasy, and for the sacrifice we seek to punish them” (160). This writer feels that teachers deserve more than what they are currently receiving. Moore agrees that if we want children to receive a good education, America needs to respect those teachers who are giving it.

“Tough Choices or Tough Times” states that due to the lack of respect for teachers this job is not appealing to those who would be rightfully qualified for the job. This essay states that “we recruit a disproportionate share of our teachers from among less able of the high school students who go to college” (8). Many people agree that if more teachers were among the highest level of college students the education in America would improve immensely. Teachers with a higher level of education can help our students to receive a better education. Also, “Tough Choices or Tough Times” explains that it is not possible for students in America to graduate with solid education “unless their teachers have the knowledge and skills we want our children to have” (12). By gaining more qualified teachers, most researchers would agree, the students in school would receive a better and more useful education.

American education is harmed by more than just the harsh treatment of teachers. Moore and Gest both argue that government funding is another one of the main problems in education today. Moore believes that a major funding issue with schools across America is that they are not receiving enough money to even keep the physical condition of the schools intact. He states that “American schools are literally falling apart. In 1999 one-quarter of U.S. public schools reported that the condition of at least one of their buildings was inadequate” (161). Moore argues that this failure to keep the schools adequate is affecting the learning environment for the students, therefore being a major contributor to the downfall of American education (161).

In addition, Gest explains how the lack of funding American education receives causes bigger class sizes and less individual attention from teachers. “There’s no doubt that when kid’s are lumped together in large numbers, learning problems multiply” (Gest). Many writers agree that with more funding given to education, schools would be able to build more classrooms and hire more teachers which would allow for more one on one attention. Gest feels that “Kids clearly benefit from strong bonds with caring advisers. “ These strong bonds can take place with more individual attention. The more attention a student can receive the better education they will receive as well. Gest explains that if more funding was given for building more classrooms, students would benefit immensely.

Another major problem in American education is agreed by writers to be corporate sponsorship. Benjamin Barber and Moore both vividly explain how advertisements have helped contribute to the downfall of education across America. One way this sponsorship is getting to the minds of young children is through the internet. Barber explains how the internet that the children across America are using for so called “education” is nothing but “a steady stream of advertising” (286). He states that “political leaders are deeply proud that they have hooked American schools to the Internet and that we are a ‘wired nation.’ We have, however, in effect hooked up our schools to what in many ways is a national sewer” (286). How can the internet be called a national sewer? Barber explains how ninety-five to ninety-seven percent of the hits on the Internet are commercial (286). Although corporate sponsors may seem very into education it is clear that this is not enhancing any learning in schools.

Moore also agrees that corporate sponsorship is not all for education. He says that “two hundred and forty school districts in thirty-one states have sold exclusive rights to one of the big three soda companies (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper) to push their products in schools” (165). Moore continues to explain that at Greenbrier High School in Georgia they held a “Coke Day” for an entry in a contest with Coke that rewarded $10,000 (165). Many people would agree that if the students are spending the day focused on “Coke Day” when will they be making up the time they are wasting to learn? It is also gotten so bad that “in some schools, companies conduct market research in classrooms during school hours” (Moore 66). Moore feels that all this precious learning time is being wasted by corporate sponsors and leading to the crash of American education.

These writers agree that we cannot let American education crash. Whether it’s losing money in the stock market or losing intelligent minds in American schools, it affects how this country is as a whole. Michael Moore, Ted Gest, Benjamin Barber and other writers all agreed that there are currently many problems with American Education including the way teachers are being treated, the lack of government funding and corporate sponsorship. By improving these problems in the education system we can save America’s younger population from crashing.

Works Cited

Barber, Benjamin. “The Educated Student.” Reading American. Eds. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2005. 283-291.

Gest, Ted. “Fixing Your School.” U.S. News and World Report. 19 October 2000: 64+. SIRS Knowledge Source. Ocean County College Library. 12 September 2007.

Moore, Michael. “Idiot Nation.” Reading America. Eds. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. 13-170.

“Tough Choices or Tough Times.” Washington, DC: National Center on Education and the Economy, 2007. 4-20.

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