Why the U.S. Education System is Failing
A few years ago, I posted an article for my “Education Futures” blog titled 10 Reasons the United States Education System Is Failing (Lynch, 2015). I outlined 10 flaws and obstacles that impede the American educational system from reaching its full potential. Even years later, this piece continues to be one of our most popular blog postings of the day.
As a result, we felt it could be fascinating to revisit the list in some form. I opted not to rehash the arguments I gave in the original essay because they are still valid. Instead, I decided to start a new list that addresses current flaws and concerns with the American educational system. Let us get started without further delay.
- In This Digital Age, We Need to Rethink Literacy. Literacy used to relate to print texts, but it gets more complicated as we enter the digital world. Teachers must begin implementing digital literacy courses to fit this generational transition. Students should be able to utilize technology to study and develop their judgments about what they read in addition to fundamental reading and writing. Students who lack these abilities will fall behind in our digital world.
- The Way We Currently Assess Learners is Not Working. The existing assessment system does not adequately measure individual learners’ development. We should be looking for testing methods that can include technology, gather data, and account for the variances among students who take the tests in our digital era. Although the initial investment may be significant, we owe it to our students to develop a fair testing system that will aid in the development of brighter minds for the future.
- We do a Poor Job of Educating Boys of Color. In America’s schools, black and Latino males have long been a misunderstood group. Their actions, learning methods, and social abilities are sometimes misinterpreted as issues. Boys of color will continue to fall between the gaps unless this scenario is addressed. Compared to their classmates, they have greater dropout rates, poverty, and imprisonment rates, and the school system may be partly to blame (The Sentencing Project, n.d.).
- We Continue to Retain and Socially Promote Learners. The educational system in the United States retains students at alarmingly high rates. Even while evidence reveals that holding children back has minimal influence on their academic success, the expense is staggering at almost $20 billion per year (Williams, 2007). Learner’s struggle to fulfill academic requirements without special assistance. Therefore, social promotion is an issue (Hong and Yu, 2008).
- Anti-Intellectualism and Academic Disengagement are Running Rampant. Learners have become accustomed to immediate satisfaction in the digital era. As a result, school districts lower academic standards to maintain students on an even playing field, but the outcome is academic disengagement. This rising anti-intellectualism is undermining traditional schooling. If academic performance has no immediate impact on their everyday life, today’s students are less likely to pursue it.
- Why Aren’t There More Year-Round Schools? Even though there is no longer an economic justification, most schools in America continue the old tradition of offering students summer vacation (Morin 2016). Unfortunately, the overwhelming evidence that switching to year-round schooling would enhance our educational system is overlooked because making the changeover is too difficult. To accommodate this radical adjustment in schedule, teachers, and legislators would have to agree to change the existing quo.
- We Are Not Able to Consistently Produce Quality Educators. The quality of instruction a child receives has a significant impact on his education. Not all instructors entering the classroom have the necessary training and expertise to promote student learning. A good teacher is a tremendous classroom asset, but we have yet to figure out how to generate good educators consistently.
- We are Not Doing Enough to Foster Digital Equity. Technology is an integral component of the world and academics in the current era. Students from more affluent families have more access to the internet and technology than those from less affluent homes. As a result, rich students gain an advantage, while schools with high poverty rates face a new hurdle. This disparity might be bridged through digital equity, resulting in a fairer playing field.
- We are Not Doing Enough to Get Girls Involved with STEM. Despite Beyoncé’s famous assertion that “girls control the world,” females are still undervalued in several academic professions. The expanding STEM field is overwhelmingly male-dominated, with limited possibilities for young women to participate. The problem is not a lack of desire but rather a lack of support for females to pursue these careers or study them in school. We need to discover innovative approaches to encourage girls to pursue STEM topics and assist them in developing a passion for mechanical and chemical engineering.
- Teacher preparation programs don’t teach neuroscience. Instead of presenting a more comprehensive picture, most teacher training programs focus solely on education. To completely comprehend how the brain and nervous system operate, outstanding educators must thoroughly understand neuroscience. It can aid teachers in gaining a better understanding of how the brain learns new information and forms stronger neural networks. Even a simple grasp of neuroscience has the potential to affect and improve instructor performance in the classroom.
The underperformance of the American educational system is not due to a single issue. A combination of factors weakens the cultural significance of educational justice and broad-based intelligence. To achieve better results, we must set aside party politics and petty policy differences and work to enhance the United States’ educational system regardless of the circumstances. I am pleased that my last essay struck a chord with my readers, and I hope that this chapter will as well. Let us get down to business.