ESSA: Learning Vocations in Public Education Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1343 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education  ·  Written: September 30, 2018

The idealistic and progressive goal-setting that has ended up producing Acts like No Child Left Behind and ESSA all stem from the same spirit that animated Counts when he wrote “Dare the School Build a New Social Order?” It was the same spirit that animated “Nation at Risk” and sounded the alarm bells over America’s failing educational system.

The problem is that American culture was problematic at its core. Learners in the East succeeded because they never embraced a liberal ideology in the first place in which freedom and individualism are promoted along with egalitarianism. In the East, duty, work, and discipline have been the virtues extolled by the Chinese culture. Even though China’s government is totalitarian in the extreme, the culture it has promoted is not one in which young Chinese children are taught to dream of being Barbie, a princess or perhaps one day even president. They are taught rather the reality of their situation—that if they want to make it in the world they must dedicate themselves to studies. In other words, their children do exactly as Bobbit and Dewey advocated students do—take ownership of their education.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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ESSA and Learning Vocations in Public Education

Term Paper on ESSA: Learning Vocations in Public Education Assignment

Instead, what happened in America is that the state took ownership of education by responding to the idealism of Counts, manifested in its most recent form under ESSA. In Texas, the ESSA accountability plan consists of “a competition to distribute school improvement funds” based on success—but every district is free to set its own standards, which of course runs the risk of the finish line being moved up more and more so that school districts can get the funding they require to stay in business (Understanding ESSA, 2018). In my classroom, our students have to reach the standards set by our school district. Using the information from a Nation at Risk and ESSA, we could develop, present, assess and evaluate our students, teachers and schools and thus obtain the funding that is literally indispensible in today’s educational system—but would our students really be taking ownership of their education, or would we still be doing it for them? I fear that by spending so much time trying to apply the scientific method to the manner in which we measure success, we are missing the point—which Addams tried to make so long ago. Instead of serving the students, we are using the students’ measurements of achievement to serve the school districts (which benefit from student achievement, essentially). The entire system is unnatural and inorganic.

My perspective on how the Nation at Risk and the previous readings can be used to improve classroom teaching and student learning is to see that idealism is at the heart of the works by Counts, the Nation at Risk report and the ESSA; but none of them really empower students to take ownership of their learning. The culture is too loose. Rather, our students would be better served by taking to heart the warning of Addams regarding the teaching of immigrant students: the family has to be protected and students need to be taught a vocation. They need to be taught a skill that they can use to make it in the real world. Unfortunately, all the jobs have been offshored—to the East.

  1. Addams, J. (2004). The Public School and the Immigrant Child. In The Curriculu Studies Reader, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: RutledgeFalmer.
  2. Bobbit, F. (2004). Scientific Method in Curriculum-Making. In The Curriculum Studies Reader, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: RutledgeFalmer.
  3. Counts, G. S. (2004). Dare the School Build a New Social Order? In The Curriculum Studies Reader, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: RutledgeFalmer
  4. Dewey, J. (2004). My Pedagogic Creed. . In The Curriculum Studies Reader, 2nd Edition. New York, NY: RutledgeFalmer.
  5. Klein, A. (2016). The Every Student Succeeds… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

ESSA: Learning Vocations in Public Education.  (2018, September 30).  Retrieved June 14, 2021, from

MLA Format

"ESSA: Learning Vocations in Public Education."  30 September 2018.  Web.  14 June 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"ESSA: Learning Vocations in Public Education."  September 30, 2018.  Accessed June 14, 2021.