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Benjamin R. Barber’s “America Skips School” Essay

The scary truth behind Benjamin R. Barber’s “America Skips School” is shocking. In an attempt to change society, Barber informs us of the hopeless struggle many indignant youths are facing today, and where they will end up tomorrow. He also stresses the responsibility of teachers and how important their roles are, not only for the future of their students but for the future of the nation as well. The stories are real and Americans should quit ignoring the truth and finally make an effort to end the struggle that their predecessors cannot ignore. Our children need us to moderator them by improving education such as raising teachers’ salaries, extending the school year to year-around, or more importantly just taking responsibility.

Logically speaking, parents entrust their children’s teachers a role they, the parents, were not trained for. Realistically, not only do teachers baby-sit many of their students, they are weighed down with responsibilities no lawyer or engineer will have to endure. Family and friends and teachers will influence the path a youth takes in life. He provides the fuel (determination) and the directions (knowledge) so the student can reach his destination. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2002-03 Edition, preparing students for the future workforce is the major stimulus generating the changes in education, and teachers provide the tools and environment for their students to develop these skills. These are the kinds of teachers we are looking for, but if we want more highly certified teachers, then there must be a change in the rate of pay because higher salaries lead to more applicants, and more applicants mean more quality teachers.

During the summer vacation, most students began to either forget what they’ve learned or how to apply it, that is until school starts up again. But as the level of difficulty gets harder, this process will not work as efficiently. Having an all year-around school gives teachers more time to teach and more time for students to absorb what is being taught. When teachers spend individual time tutoring students it is less likely for those students to fail the course. Of course there is summer school, but in many cases the fee for class during the summer is costly for students who attendĀ inner-city schools.

In today’s society, the majority of families have both adults away from the home while the children are left alone. While the kids are at school, they have the teachers to accompany them, but when they come home, and mom and dad are not there to regulate their activities, then the house is no longer a home but merely a place to come and go. A good connection between the parent and child usually keeps a healthy environment around the house, but outside the house scenarios change as well as the people the child is associating with. It’s another role of the parent to know where his child is at, at all times, who his child’s friends are, and to set a time as to when the kid most come home. Finally, the parent and child should get together and set a schedule up weekly that involves plenty of studying time, playtime and communication within the family.

No matter what arguments arise either within the school or home, our children need us. Many kids have to be forced to their studies or to participate in class because they do not think as far ahead in the future as we, the parents and teachers, do. Higher salaries for teachers will lead to a better, qualified faculty, extended school to year-around will theoretically give more time for students to learn and absorb what is being taught in school, and the role of the parents to provideĀ their child the love and attention he needs as a guide in his road to success, are all of which Barber has emphasized as being important to a better academic system. We have yearned for a system that would work, but we just were not committed enough to do something about it. So until we do something about it, our children, America’s future, will continue to drown in this fast, growing society.


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