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Controversy in Classrooms Essay

Parents have opposing goals for their children based on their diverse backgrounds, demographics, and beliefs. Each child attends school with a particular concluding goal in mind. Some students attend their public school with the plan to go to college, some will finish and claim their place in the family business, some join the military, and some know they will work a laborious job that does not require education, but go because it is mandated by the law. Public schools, however, treat everyone the same.

Backgrounds, prior knowledge, and the real life goals that a particular student may need to survive are not a priority in today’s public school system due to government control and the limits placed on what can be taught in the classroom. Many students will complete their public education without the satisfaction of accomplishment or the critical abilities to problem solve, while other students will get lost in the cycle and give up on their education completely. America’s current schooling system puts a barrier on reasoning.

The state governments have set minimum standards that relate to nearly all activities that take place in public schools. The schools rely on the government to provide funding and authorize local taxes to support the schools. Schools receive this funding if the district is able to meet the minimum standards as determined by a series of standardized testing focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic. Public schools are no longer an environment for creative thinking, independent reasoning, and open discussion.

Schools act as a factory, working to pump out students that all function at the same level regardless of varying levels of competency and understanding, with the utmost concern being that are able to pass the standardized testing in order for the school to continue to receive funding. By limiting education to memorizing facts and other strict boundaries, students are not able to explore their personal interests, or enact their decision making skills.

The English learners are often not able to keep up at all. (McEwan, 2000. p. 26-27) Public school statistics are dismal. By the end of 8th grade, U. S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries. Seventy percent of 8th graders can’t read at their grade level, and more than 1. 2 million students drop out of school every year. (Statistics on American K-12 Public Education, retrieved from: http://broadeducation. org/about/crisis_stats. html)

The government’s role in education and the limits they place on classroom content, in regards to what is and is not allowed to be taught, is a controversial subject in America. Some believe that a few reforms might turn the system around, and others believe the system needs a total reorganization to infuse freedom and choice back into our children’s lives. References McEwan, Elaine K. , (2000) Angry Parents, Failing Schools. Colorado: Shaw Books. Statistics on American K-12 Public Education – The Broad Foundation Education: http://broadeducation. org/about/crisis_stats. html

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