Education -- Major Policy Themes the American Essay

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¶ … Education -- Major Policy Themes

The American education system has fallen tremendously behind those of other nations, including those of many much smaller and less wealthy nations. The United States ranks fifth among all nations in spending per student but ranks only twenty-first in science literacy and twenty-fifth in math literacy compared with the students of thirty other developed nations. In 2009, sixty-nine percent of American eight graders scored below proficiency levels in reading and sixty-eight percent scored below proficiency levels in mathematics; that is particularly troubling in light of nearly a decade of federal policies (i.e. NCLB) expressly justified by the need to improve literacy and mathematics proficiency among American students.

Since the early 1970s, education administrators have emphasized reducing the student-to-teacher ratio and increasing spending per student, but despite lowering student-to-teacher ratios from twenty-two students per teacher to sixteen per teacher and despite increasing spending one hundred and twenty-three percent in the last thirty-five years, academic performance of public high school students has not improved at all according to most measures. In light of the fact that almost ninety percent of U.S. students attend public schools, the future of the nation's ability to compete in an increasingly global professional environment is obviously directly at stake.

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Among the most important areas requiring policy changes in American education are excessive reliance on standardized testing, the absence of any substantial connection between teacher performance and compensation, the shielding of perpetually bad teachers by tenure rules; and the lack of sufficient incentives to attract the best and brightest minds into the teaching profession.

TOPIC: Essay on Education -- Major Policy Themes the American Assignment

The failed decade-long education policies of the Bush administration demonstrated the inadvisability of relying on standardized testing to improve academic performance. Unfortunately, when the reputations of schools and education administrators depend on student performance on standardized testing to measure the quality of their education, the result, more often than not, is a focus on teaching for the purpose of test performance instead of genuine learning. Since the implementation of the NCLB approach, numerous scandals emerged in which educators and entire academic institutions engaged in deliberate fraud (such as by using actual state… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Education -- Major Policy Themes the American."  Essaytown.com.  September 12, 2010.  Accessed September 23, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/education-major-policy-themes-american/3240.