In America, 14 percent of our schools are overcrowded, with low-income students suffering disproportionately. In Chicago, for example, one in five elementary students starts the school year in an overcrowded classroom. Taking action is crucial in this situation, as overcrowded schools result in lower test scores and increased stress for teachers and students. There are five steps to improve the educational system, however. Here are some of them.
First, leaders in every country proclaim their commitment to equity. Those in high-performing systems focus their efforts on achieving equity. While large-scale financial investments are necessary to create a world-class educational system, they don’t necessarily translate to academic results. High-performing countries use a mix of approaches to ensure that social backgrounds do not affect student performance. High-quality educational systems have common high expectations for all students, a high-quality teacher corps in every school, and a variety of outside-of-school community supports.
A third step in improving the educational system is to remove the arbitrary elements that have shaped it. High-performing countries have curriculum and syllabus-based examination systems and regular work among teachers to improve classroom instruction. However, all systems struggle with achieving the right balance between top-down managerial prescription and bottom-up professional judgment. Some systems delegate more responsibility to the school level, while others rely on centralized mechanisms to promote more uniform performance.
First, school systems should shift their resources. Block scheduling of classes will enable teachers to spend more time working with students on deeper projects. Additionally, summer hours should not be used for school closure and should be used for extracurricular activities. In addition, elementary school teachers should spend two or more years with the same class, which helps create a deeper relationship with students. In addition, schools should focus more money on classrooms and teachers.