Dear Next President,
The way we act towards education needs to change. Not in just one area, but in several. We pride ourselves on the students that get all A’s, and ignore the majority of our population that isn’t even getting taught the basics. Today our public education system remains almost indistinguishable from what it was over a century ago, no crucial changes have been made. In a growingly challenging economy, I recommend we make crucial improvements to our public school system. Improving our quality of education, making education affordable, and helping students receive an education are all problems the United States can fix regarding our public schools.
To begin, the United States should change its public schooling to better prepare students for real world expectations. If America was to redirect its public schooling methods to ones used in Finland, where education is tailored to modern day needs, more of our students would be able to make great contributions towards our country. Finland has made unorthodox changes in its school systems to give their students a better education. A Smithsonian columnist states of Finnish schools that “If one method fail, teachers consult with colleagues to try something else. They seem to relish the challenges (Hancock).” This reflects how Finnish teachers are given much more control over their curriculum than American teachers. In the United States, the curriculum of public schools is under almost complete jurisdiction of the government. Teachers aren’t given enough leash to make any major changes that may help their students. Instead, they are told exactly what to teach, when to teach it, and how. This means if a student needs extra help in school, their isn’t much a teacher can do to help that student. Additionally, Finland has done away with standardized testing. Finnish teachers protest standardized testing, preaching that “‘If you measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect (Heikkinen).’” This exemplifies that in America, the government is too caught up in teaching common core and misses the point of preparing students for the real world and modern expectations. The United States should transition its public schooling practices to the likeness of those in Finland to better prepare students as much as possible for the modern day workplace.
In continuum, public colleges across the United States must lower the price of tuition. As colleges in America continuously raise their prices for tuition, it becomes increasingly harder for high school graduates to enter good colleges. Students that have worked long and hard to enroll in their dream colleges are being forced away due to unreasonable prices. One article brings to light that “According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school year was $32,404 at private colleges, $9,401 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities (Collegedata).” This illustrates the modern day economic struggle of many students in America. In a society that relies heavily on labels and titles instead of density, it’s becoming near impossible to afford a quality education. If students can’t afford college, eventually they’ll quite enrolling altogether. It’s unfair that students that have molded to the pressures of our overworking society are unable to reap the rewards of all their work and sacrifices. Most importantly, no one should be denied an education. It’s predicted that the price of college tuition will only increase over the upcoming years. By 2030, college prices are “Expected to inflate 5% per year, taking annual college costs from $39,518 today to $90,576 (Business Insider).” To help provide current students and future students with a college education, tuition prices need to be brought down. The United States government needs to not only decrease the prices of college tuition, but create a stable price range to prevent future inflation.
Last but not least, public schooling needs to be improved in inner cities across the United States. In the United States alone, around 15 million kids are either at the poverty level or very far below it. This means children in these areas receive poor educations, or don’t receive an education at all. One article focusing on the education of inner city students highlights that “Mathematics classes in high-poverty high schools are twice as likely to be taught by a teacher with a credential other than mathematics as are mathematics classes at low-poverty high schools (Hudley).” This brings to attention one of many dark sides of the inner city education system, that funds are so low in these communities that they must hire unqualified teachers. If students are being taught by unqualified teachers, than they are suffering worse than those who simply don’t know the information at all. They will grow up on a broken foundation, everything they’ve been taught is incorrect. How is the future of America supposed to help better our world if they can’t even get a basic education? Let alone, these students will grow up struggling to find a sturdy job and stable income for themselves and their own children. The struggle with education in inner cities has also been linked to the school-to-prison pipeline, where “In a world without work, crime became the main employer. Instead of addressing social problems, our society stiffened laws and stuffed people into cells (Singer).” Because students resulting from these poor educations often struggle to find a sufficient job, their best chance of making it by is through crime. This major fault in the United States education system is literally sending our bright, shining future into a correctional facility. The United States needs to focus on providing not only a quality education, but a chance to all students in America seeking it.
Conclusively, our educational system has a lot of work to do. The United States needs to strengthen the education of its students. This can be accomplished. Making big changes from traditional schooling methods, such as Finland, can assure students are being taught what they truly need to know. Lowering the price of college can help students specialize their talent and knowledge. Providing students in poverty stricken environments with the ability to learn what everybody around them is learning can give them a chance to succeed. Dear Next President, if our youth dictates our future, where would you say our educational system is taking us?
American Psychological Association
The Huffington Post