The most obvious and glaring issue is funding. Or, more accurately, a lack of it. Across the nation many schools aren’t able to afford to keep current versions textbooks, or even ones in usable condition, due to lack of funding and budget cuts. Instead they’re forced to use already decades-old textbooks that are in terrible condition and often even contain outdated and inaccurate information. It doesn’t stop with textbooks, either. In some schools entire classes, such as music or art, are cut from the curriculum for no reason other than they can’t get the funding they desperately need for these and other programs to continue. This severely dampens the quality of education for children across the country, as they are cut-off from learning something that may potentially be of interest toward them. Who knows how many future artists or musicians are stifled because our schools couldn’t fund the classes where they would have learned and improved these skills.
Lack of funding isn’t the only problem our school systems face. Now more than ever, we understand the long-term psychological impact that bullying can have on children. It is also a problem that has never been worse among the nations children enrolled in the nation’s school systems. And whats worse, in today’s age it doesn’t stop at school- bullying can spill over into home life, through social media platforms and the like. Kids who are the victim of bullying have increased levels of stress, anxiety and can even develop conditions such as depression as a result. It’s a problem that seems like it should be easy to stop, but has persisted for as long as our educational system has existed.
Another problem many schools in America face is overcrowding. With the growing population, there are now more students enrolled in school systems across America than ever before. This has led to stretched resources and time. Many students never recieve the one-on-one attention they need to strive. This is not the fault of the teachers, either, as they are simply spread too thin amongst all the students left in their charge. With so many children to teach, there isn’t enough time in the day for teachers to give every student the amount of one-on-one attention they need to excel. Many times this problem is compounded by other problems, with buying books for a growing student body becoming an issue at many schools. It may also allow bullying to occur unchecked, as there are too many kids for so few teachers to keep an eye on at once. And as the population continues to grow, it will only become more of a problem unless steps are taken to adequately teach and supervise an ever growing student body.
Yet another issue faced by the American Educational System, and arguably one of the most controversial, is the “No Child Left Behind” program set up by the United States government. Although the Obama administration has taken steps towards reform, there is no doubt that it has changed the way our schools work as a whole. Many students, parents and teachers claim that NCLB forces schools to “teach for tests” instead of actually teaching to learn, with test scores in many school districts being used to rate how effective the nations teachers are. The pressure put on schools to perform for testing, and not actually teaching, has changed the way our school systems work for the worse.
And though these and many more issues plague the American Educational System, there is no reason why steps can’t be taken to make amends and begin to repair it. The next generation, the children currently enrolled in these very school systems, are the ones who will lead the nation one day. Is there any reason why they shouldn’t be getting the best possible education available? America has always strove to be the best in everything, and the future of our nation and children should be no different. Ensuring that they get the education they need and deserve should be a top priority for every school system in the country.