The 15 Biggest Failures of the American Public Education System

American Public Education System: The world is constantly changing and those who don’t adapt are left behind. The American public education system is not keeping up with the times and faces serious problems. Continue reading to find out about the most serious problems facing the U.S. public school system today, as well as the trends that may lead to change.

The American formal education system was created decades ago to meet the evolving needs of the industrial revolution. The system was designed to support growth in an era that has passed. It is now unable to keep up with modern economic needs. What are the most serious failings in the American public education system? How can they be fixed?

This article will examine fifteen of the most serious failures in the American public school system. Five of the most important trends in American education will be discussed.

Top 15 Failures in American Public Education

There are many policymakers who are trying to improve the American public school system. Not all of them are successful. There has been much back-and-forth over the years that has led to the public education system being in disarray. While some of these issues are obvious and have been around for a long time, others are newer and are the result of technological advances, policy changes, and other changes over time.

There are always two sides to every story. For every program or policy implemented, there will be critics as well as proponents. Below is a list of the most pressing issues facing America’s public system, as well as arguments from both sides.

Deficits in government funding for schools.

Schools face funding problems all the time. In fact, it is one of the most pressing issues facing America’s public education system. More than 90% of K-12 schools receive funding from their state and local governments. This is mainly due to income and sales taxes. Research has shown that funding has not increased in proportion to the need. Many states still issue funding that is lower than it was prior to the Great Recession. A lower funding level means that there are fewer teachers and programs and that resources are less.

Decline in school safety.

A string of high-profile school shootings has occurred in America, leading to dozens of deaths and many discussions about school safety. Over 50% of teens surveyed said that they are concerned about gun violence at school. Teachers across the country face the challenge of protecting students and staff from gun violence and preventing attacks. While some suggest that teachers should be trained to use concealed weapons and put extra strain on their bodies, others argue that schools can be made safer by having more guns.

Challenges with technology in education.

Students today have grown up with technology and are used to it in school. However, there are controversies about the role that technology should play in education. While technology can be an asset to student engagement and instant access, critics argue that it could distract from the learning process. Technology in the classroom has many benefits. However, there are some aspects that can be challenging. Smartphones and technology that is easy to access have made it easier to cheat, which can adversely impact learning.

Charter schools and voucher programs are the subjects of controversy

School choice is another hot topic in education. School vouchers and charter schools allow parents to select other options than traditional public schools for their children. Charter schools operate outside of the public school system and are funded with a mix of public and private funds. Parents can use school vouchers to send their children to any school they choose, even private schools. These schools are criticized by critics who claim that voucher programs and charter schools divert funds from public schools already in financial trouble.

Common core curriculum problems

To help students know what they need to know before graduating from high school, the Common Core State Standards were created. The Common Core State Standards were created in 2009 to encourage educational equity in the country. They require all students to take the same standardized tests. Some view the problem as an intrusion by the federal government into state education control. Others believe it hinders teacher creativity and allows for more flexibility in the learning process. While most states adopted the standards at their introduction, more than a dozen have modified or repealed them.

Teacher salaries have fallen

Teachers’ salaries are not very high and have declined steadily in many states over the last few years. Research shows that between 2009/10 and 2018, the average teacher salary in public elementary and secondary schools dropped by almost 5%. Oklahoma, Colorado, and other states saw a 17% to 16% drop in teacher salaries. These states also experienced massive teacher walkouts in 2018. Of course, there are some states where teacher salaries rose and teachers were given increased benefits. However, this may not be enough for low wages overall.

Standardized testing is the key.

Common Core has seen a greater emphasis on standardized testing, particularly during the No Child Left Behind era. Many argue that teacher and school performance is not fair or accurate. Many critics claim that standardized testing is one of America’s biggest problems in education. This suggests that teachers and schools are judged based on student test scores.

Arguments regarding teacher tenure

Tenure is intended to prevent teachers from being fired for political or personal reasons. The school district must show just cause. Tenure is awarded to public school teachers in many states that have received consistently satisfactory evaluations. However, some states do not grant it. While tenured teachers may be able to advocate for students without fear of reprisal, critics argue that it makes it more difficult for school districts and schools to fire ineffective teachers. Others suggest that tenure might encourage complacency and allow teachers to make the most effort.

Bullying at schools

Bullying is a major contributor to violence in schools. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that more than 20% of grade 6-12 students have been bullied at school or while on their way to/from school. Although this number is down from 32% in 2007, it is still too high. These statistics are problematic because many bullied students do not report their bullying. Bullied students can experience a variety of emotional, behavioral, and physical problems that can have a significant impact on their education as well as their daily lives.

Student poverty is a growing problem

The National Center for Education Statistics data shows that more than half of all public school students in America are low-income. This is an increase of 38% from 2001. This is a national problem as 40% of public school students qualify for free or reduced-price meals in 40 states. In 18 states, the student poverty rate was over 50%. Research has shown that students with low incomes perform worse than those with higher incomes. Additionally, standardized tests show a strong correlation between family income and student achievement.

Schools are overcrowded

The average class size of American public schools in 2011/12 was 21 students for elementary school and 27 for secondary school. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that today’s classrooms have 30 to 40 students, in some cases as high as 40. Teachers and others who advocate for smaller classes believe that class size has an impact on the quality of instruction. Students with smaller classes have better outcomes. Critics argue that class size limits are too costly and may prove to be too expensive. Florida had class sizes capped in 2002, but a 2010 study found no significant effect on test scores for students in grades 4-8.

Student mental health challenges.

The United States is seeing a rise in mental health concerns, and this concern even extends to school students. An overwhelming anxiety problem was reported by nearly three-quarters of college students in a 2018 study. This anxiety is also common among younger students. Schools that want to make a difference have their challenges. One counselor is recommended for every 1,000- 1,500 students. However, the average college campus in the United States is 1,737-1. Although awareness of mental health issues has increased, many students remain hesitant to seek care.

Parents aren’t involved enough.

Public school teachers can only do so much for their students. The student’s home lives can have a significant impact on their academic and personal development. Parents who lack higher education may not be able to provide the support students need to learn and complete their homework. Students from low-income families have additional challenges, but even families of the middle and upper class aren’t exempt. Many parents are too focused on their careers and don’t have the time or energy to support their children’s education.

Schools are closing too many.

Schools across the country are closing down in alarming numbers. This leads to increased problems with class sizes and limited access to resources. Parents, teachers, and other community members who are affected by closings can feel targeted, even though school board members offer objective data. Closures can sometimes be avoided, but they can be delayed. Communities should look at other options or alternatives for the school like a community center or an adult education center.

Inadequacy of teaching methods and teacher innovation

Teaching methods that were used decades ago are no longer relevant to today’s students. The lack of innovation among teachers is one of the major problems facing the American public education system. This can be partly due to the implementation of the Common Core curriculum and standardized testing. The federal government must address the problem with policy changes that will bring about a positive change in the public education system. America needs teachers who can better meet the needs and are willing to advocate for change. Change is impossible without teachers on the front.

Also Read: California School Counselor Advocacy Tips

The American education system is plagued by problems, but there are opportunities for growth and improvement. Continue reading to find out about the top trends in public education.

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