Why Can’t We Overcome Our Broken Public Education System?

While the bleak conditions of our educational system are undeniable, we must also recognize the positive effects of changes. These improvements have the potential to accelerate our nation’s progress. But if we are too quick to blame the schools themselves, we may be denying ourselves of the benefit of a truly improved educational system. In other words, we are avoiding the root causes of our current educational crisis

If we want to reform public education, we must first address the problems endemic to our current educational system. The No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President George W. Bush in Hamilton, Ohio, requires states to measure students’ progress in reading and math proficiency and to set goals for improvement. Schools that fail to meet these goals are subject to overhaul or even closure. This is indefensible at any level of government, whether at the state or local level

Federal involvement in education is not justified by public support. In fact, existing federal programs are failing to achieve their goals. Head Start and other major categorical programs have failed to close the achievement gap between low-income children and their advantaged peers. Moreover, the current political climate prevents politicians from acknowledging that the federal government has a limited role in education. The results are often disastrous, and we should make every effort to improve the educational system as best we can.

The issue of the safety of students is particularly important. We should address issues that impact students of color and Black students disproportionately. With funding and resources, policymakers can send a powerful message to children everywhere. Let us begin by addressing the problems of underfunded schools. And, don’t forget to mention that the Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbates the In some schools, staff is barely adequate and teaching materials are shaky.

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