The United States education system has undergone significant transition over the years. Currently, the federal government is not involved in the management of the United States public schools. Each state has an independent education department responsible for the implementations and the regulations in public schools (Chavous 68). For this reason, therefore, there is evidence that the United States education system lacks a comprehensive and universal public education system that can ensure equitable and quality education for the U.S citizens. Even though the Americans view public education as a fundamental right, the legal system has ruled otherwise. The Americans sees public education system as a platform to offer students quality life and economic development for their individual communities. And yet, studies suggest that many public schools in the United States have failed to provide that desired education.
Even though the public schools are striving to provide quality education system, there has been politicization. Tens of thousands of students, more specifically those in the urban America have fallen through the cracks of the education system influenced by the political regimes every season. Less than half of the students in big-city schools receive their diplomas (Donovan, Mooney and Smith 597). The situation is worse for some racial and ethnic groups. Three-quarter of the Asian American and white Americans often graduate on time, but less than 50 percent of African Americans, Hispanics, and the Native Americans graduate. It is evident that the politicization of the education system is not a new issue in the United States, and policy shock has become a common occurrence.
Other than a comprehensive and universal public education system and politicization, the public education system in the United States faces other challenges that have been threatening their stability and survival across the nation. This has not only been the concern for the federal government but the states officials as well who have attributed major problem in the inadequacy of space and inadequate funds. Public schools in Georgia, for instance, have been affected significantly by reduced resources hence forcing the administrators to stretch class sizes just to have students attend lessons. High teacher to student ratio has affected teacher performance, and the mentors have become ineffective in cases where the number of students is above 30.
Local impacts of the problem
Public education system is a worthy investment for the local and state government not only in the United States but across the world. This is because of its immense benefit in social and economic forums. Research has shown that attending public education system gives an opportunity to gainful employment, stable families and productive citizens who rarely get involved in criminal activities (Donovan, Mooney and Smith 580). A sustainable education system is beneficial to the individual whose benefits then aggregate throughout the community hence creating broader social and economic benefit to the locals.
Lack of a comprehensive and universal public education system plus the politicization has led to various impacts. The faces and voices currently involved in the management of education reforms in the United States are the appointees and some self-proclaim reformers who even though mean well for the education system, lack the required expertise to offer comprehensive education system(Cochran 98). Because of these problems, there has been an increase in dropouts who in the end are less likely to receive employment and often depends on welfare assistance. These welfares cost billions of shillings to the local and national governments. This has made the local governments to increase their revenue allocations hence compromising their annual budgets.
Lack of enough funds to the public schools in various institutions has affected the performance of teachers significantly due to the high teacher to students ratio witnessed in the United States. This has in the long run led to poor education quality and entire performance of students attending public schools.
Legal foundation of the education policy
The United States Constitution has made a significant transition in the constitution in relation to education. The law has set clear roles and responsibilities towards ensuring public schooling for every child which involve critical issues between courts and public schools, civil rights and affirmative actions, rights, and responsibilities of public school teachers and the students rights and responsibilities.
Local governments have taken the lead towards fighting for quality education in public schools. To add on that, different states and the federal governments have also played individual roles in providing quality public education since 2001. There has been an increasing involvement of federal government in public schools issues and trying to invent programmatic and outcome based education policies in relation to various challenges faced by the U.S citizens. Policies and procedures have been designed for compensation of past discrimination against segregation in public schools while others are advocating for the children with disabilities.
Additionally, there have been various amendments aimed towards bettering the public institutions such as increment of funds to public schools while relaxing on the federal standards set by federal governments to minimize funds allocation to public schools. Limitation of Budgetary control has also led to cost cutting in various education programs from pre-kindergarten to institutions of higher learning. This is opposed to the traditional education system where Congress passed a series of laws at a time providing more funds for the elementary and public secondary schools alone with a concentration on low-income students, summer program funds to the bilingual students having limited English and low-interest loans for college students. Educate America Act has also been signed into law to authorize various education programs and help develop a voluntary national system which is aimed towards standardizing the national education system.
How the problem is addressed in the community
Various sections have been amended, and locally elected school boards manage current more than 90 percent of public schools. Hawaii State, for instance, has a unitary and state-run public system whereas other states charge counties for operating public schools. This is aimed towards reducing the politicization and creating a unitary form of the education system in the United States. On the other hand, states like New Jersey decided to take over public schools due to their poor performance and mismanagement of resources amongst them. The local school boards formed appoint superintendents, hire public staff and teachers and also helps in assessing the curriculum used in the public school. These boards are also responsible for setting public school calendars and school attendance requirement.
In relation to inadequate funds in the public schools, various states have limited tax rates levied to support public schools and their ability to float public school construction. Furthermore, there has been constitution amendments aimed towards limiting the bond that exists between the local schools and the political institutions. Government funding of majority public schools has also been reformed significantly with reduced reliance on local revenue to finance the local schools. Taxes are collected from different sectors. For this reason, more resources have been located to public schools and about 21 percent of annual budget channeled to education projects. Even with inflation, there has been a steady increment in the allocation of funds to the education sector with various states giving out more than 15 percent of the federal government less than a percentage just to support public education. This has ensured quality education system in various institutions from pre-kindergarten to institutions of higher learning.
Critique of the solutions and alternatives
Various solutions offered in relation to politicization, funding and provision of quality education system only allowed the minority to ruin public schools of quality education by making it difficult for the local schools to fund new school programs or even establish new facilities and programs. Some schools have been forced to close their public institutions earlier and even lay off their teachers due to the limited fund placed by the new laws as part of the solution. Teachers can be employed on a contractual basis that is renewed based on their periodic performance by the school boards. Other than reducing the cost of operation, this strategy will ensure quality education.
Allocation of more funds to public schools can lead to corruption within the school boards who can remain in the positions and divert dollars to schools that do not meet the required accountability standards. Furthermore, these acts violate the Constitution towards offering equitable education for all citizens. If this should be done, then private and other learning institutions should be considered in the task alike. Other states faced political barriers and stiff public opposition which can make amendment of various education funding solutions hard.
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Chavous, Kevin P. Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education. Sterling, Va: Capital Books, 2004. Print.
Cochran, Clarke E. American Public Policy: An Introduction. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Donovan, Todd, Christopher Z. Mooney, and Daniel A. Smith. State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth, 2012. Print.
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