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The public education system in the U.S. Essay

In US the government mainly provides Public education. However the funding and control do not come from federal government and it differs from state to state and the control and funding can come from federal, State and local bodies. In addition school boards determine the curricula, teaching and other educational policies and it differs from state to state. In US public education competes with private education and the private education system in most cases is superior in educational quality in terms of curricula and in terms of student’s academic performance, teaching quality, extra curricula activities in elementary and secondary level.

As well the cost per student is less in private educational institutions than public education in elementary and in secondary level. In addition in Higher education the cost is very high and the private Universities have more elitist status than the Public Universities in general and not accessible to most student groups. In addition there are charter schools, which are parochial in nature in secondary and in elementary level, and they are also superior in terms of educational quality in general compared to public schools. In addition in some state it has home schooling system but not in all states.

In addition in US the age of entry in to the school system and exist from the school system differs and the grading system also varies from state to state and the standardized test and educational standards are mostly administered by the State government. Page: 2 US Public Education system Performance statistics compared to other advanced Industrial Countries In an article “Education in United States” in the WIKIPEDIA The Free Encyclopedia the following statistics have been documented. 1) United Nations assigned an Education Index of 99.

9 to United States ranking it number 1 in the world. 2) 76. 6 million students enrolled as per K16 study and 72% aged 12 to 17 were judged academically on track. Of these 5. 2 million attending private schools. 3) Among the adult population over 85% completed High school and 27% received bachelor degree or higher. 4) Literacy rate of 98% of the population over age 15, while ranking below average in mathematics and Science understanding. 5) A recent study showed that A slightly higher proportion of American adults qualify as Scientifically literate than European and Japanese adults.

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In addition the participation in continuing education is high for United States. Page: 3 These statistics shows that the American Public education system perform in some measures well and not in others particularly in mathematics and science education Compared to other advanced industrial countries. As Science and mathematics is crucial for future technical potential of US compared to other advanced countries and in a age of rapid development in Science and technology and if US lacks behind other advanced industrialized countries it may loose its competitive edge in this crucial field and hamper

Its economic and social development in the future and also tackle the environmental issues facing the globe in the 21st century. As well the above statistics shows a sustancial proportion of students aged 12 to 17 are not academically on track and they may become unemployable or unemployed due to lack of skills and may become burden to society as whole and also for a source of social instability in US and also can produce an underclass. There fore based on the statistics above even though overall the US public education system is performing well it has serious weaknesses compared to other advanced industrial countries.

The US Public education system in terms of its performance in meeting in developing appropriate skills for the majority of the students as well as maintaining a high standard Of science skills and update practical skills which is used in real world and its speed of change in its structure and curriculum and funding as well as teaching strategies based on the above statistics. In addition it must be flexibility to adept to special needs of student Page: 4 groups and disadvantage created by segregation policies in education, as the Public education system is the product of American social development.

and provide access to education to these groups, as they are sustancial proportion of American society . As mentioned above the US public education system curriculum is diverse and has differing quality in different districts and also differs from one state to the next. The quality of curriculum is fundamental factor in the determination of what is taught is class, who is teaching, resources used, options given to students, assessment methods, who controls the curriculum and for who’s benefit.

If the curriculum in quality differs then it will create more differences than if the curriculum is to some degree centralized in some European countries than in America and Public education in these countries has to follow basic curriculum in all states and provinces but adept to local conditions depending on the student profile, parents and teachers with some guidance and principles enunciated by a central educational authority. The educational reform must take in to consideration the educational structural factors of the degree of decentralization and centralization

in to account if it wants to resolve and improve the performance of US Public education system. This is important as mentioned above the US Public educational system is very decentralized and has a parochial structure and allow too much differences in curriculum and in different quality and it is certainly will affect the quality of education in some schools in the Public education system. Page: 5 Segregation and inequality and the US Public education system

In American Educational history segregation has produced disadvantage for the minority groups to suffer in terms of access to education particularly to quality education for a very long time. This has produced social and economic disparity compared to majority white population. Even now some minority student groups suffer from access to quality education and they tend to be mostly in the Public education system in the worst performing public schools and academically poor performers compared to the white student population.

US Public Education system must address this disadvantage adequately and the current US Public education system structurally do not address this access and inequality adequately and there fore fails to raise the performance of these students academically and to provide opportunities to develop their full potential and there fore they become socially and economically a burden to American society and also a drain in resources in welfare terms.

In US Public Schools where there are minority students particularly from disadvantage students the federal, state and local government must have guidelines and mandates to fund adequate resources for counseling services, remedial classes, appropriate welfare Referral services and also provides welfare services in housing, welfare services to parents to cover cost of education and other expenses so that they are physically healthy and mentally happy to develop their skills in the education system. Page: 6 US Public education system and Private Education system

In US Public education system has to compete with private education system. As well some schools are parochial and also independent of government. The private schools are better resourced and also provide quality curriculum in general although there are exceptions. A considerable amount of student population is enrolled n private schools eventhogh majority of elementary and secondary schools students attend US public schools with different curriculum and in different quality determined by the school boards of different districts.

As well the cost of education per student private schools is less than the US public education and it can also point to waste of resources because of too much bureaucracy compared to private schools. In addition the private schools give more carrier opportunities to teachers than the Public schools. As well in private schools the student to teacher ratio is small compared to US public school system. This may be a factor contributing to better quality of education in private schools compared to US Public education system.

This shows to some extent the US public education has problems in its quality of education system and reform is necessary in curriculum development process and administration. Control, teacher qualification and carrier prospects, teacher performance measures and salary structure and ways to reduce class size in US public schools. This is vital to improve the performance of Us Public education system compared to private Page: 7 schools and also raise the standard of Science and mathematics education in US public education system.

US Public Higher education system and US Private Higher Education system In US the public education system has pubic Universities and colleges as well community colleges. The public higher education competes with the private higher education system. The Private Universities have more elitist status compared to public Universities in general. As well the entrance requirements differ from one University to the next n the public university system and elitist universities have stringent requirements than other universities in the public as well as private university system.

As well the private Universities quality of research and quality of education is better compared to public universities in general but there are exceptions. In addition because of segregation policies in the past the accesses ability to public higher education by minority student groups exist even the participation in higher education has increased by these groups in recent times. In addition the cost education in private and in public Universities are high in US, which is not affordable by many student groups even by the loan grant scheme by federal and private financial institutions. Page: 8

As discussed above in it is certain the US Higher education in the public sector must enhance its profile compared to the private universities and reform of public US higher education is necessary and the US public education system quality is questionable and has considerable weaknesses to be resolved to raise its higher education standard compared to private universities and compared to Universities of advanced industrialized countries. Creationism and evolution in Science education In US in the Public education system there is debate over creationism to be taught in Science education.

There is considerable disagreement on this issue among religious groups, teachers of science, parents of well educated and other. This issue of teaching creationism in Public schools is a controversial issue in US and it must be resolved more than adequately by federal, state and local government authorities. If not resolved will affect the quality of education particularly the Science education and further disadvantage US students in Science skills compared to students from advanced industrialized countries and Japan or Korea.

There fore the US public education system must resolve its social, religious and cultural issues in education and its impact on the quality of science education as in US religion plays a considerable role in education. The excessive religious influences must be curbed Page: 9 more than adequately by legal or other means to improve the quality of education particularly the science education in the US public education system. Degree of standardization in US Education system compared to other advanced industrialized countries

In most advanced industrialized countries particularly in Europe the public education is comparatively centralized in terms of specifying curriculum, teaching standards, hours of schooling, assessment methods and testing and ensure uniformity in curriculum and options to be allowed and consistently revised to reflect changes in skill requirements in economy, student preferences and teacher and other educational professional inputs to improve the quality and efficiency of the school system.

In contrast the US public education system is far more decentralized in control of curriculum, teaching and other issues. The excessive decentralized US public education systems structure may be a factor, which may have contributed to poor performance in science and mathematics understanding compared to other students from advanced industrialized countries.

The issue of standardization and degree of centralization must be considered by the US Public education system as in science and mathematics in European countries the superior performance may be attributable to the standardization and the uniformity of curriculum and quality in all schools and the centralized control to some extent by the central educational authority and revised consistently if circumstances change in skill Page: 10 requirements and other factors such as input from teachers and teacher unions, parents and educational professionals and from input from business and religious community and

student groups. In this respect US public education system must consider the degree of decentralization and its negative impact on the quality of education to improve structural impediments to enhance the quality of education. Contemporary issues in US Public Education system Curriculum issues The contemporary issues in US Educational system are Curriculum issues, funding, and Charter schools, control and competitiveness. The curriculum issues stems from the fact that there exists a variety of curriculum and in different quality.

There are arguments over the standardization of curriculum and the degree of curriculum standardization because of the current existence of varying curriculum in different districts and in different states. In addition there is also arguments regarding English language teaching, evolution in Science education and the role of sex education. In US most citizens are divided in these issues and they are hotly debated. Some religious groups prefer teaching creationism in Science but some educated groups disagree teaching creationism.

In addition there is also no consensus regarding sex education in the curriculum and in US most citizens are divided on sex education. As well there is debate over which subjects receive most focus Page: 11 with astronomy and geography not taught enough in schools. As discussed above the curriculum issues are complex in US and there exists no consensus and there fore it is very difficult to resolve these issues. However if these issues are not resolved adequately and not reformed will affect the quality of the education system, as the quality of the curriculum will determine to some extent the quality of the Public education system.

Funding issues In addition the funding of Public education differs from one state to the next and differs in different districts. However State governments or local governments fund the school system. The cost per student in Public education is higher compared to the private elementary and secondary schools. In addition in funding property taxes are used to fund the public schooling system and it is controversial in US. In Higher education the cost is not affordable by many student groups and they pay their fees by loans from federal government or from private loans from financial institutions.

Charter school issues There are charter schools in US based on the promise to create less bureaucratic schools which vest management in the hands of community members, parents, teachers and Page: 12 students. Recent studies indicate that the charter schools do not out perform the Public schools. However the federal government No Child Left Behind Act 2001 which extent the oversight of state schools and the power to withdraw funding from poorly performing schools and gives parents the choice to remove students from such schools.

Control issues Mainly State governments exercise the control of education. However there exist many variations of the control structure. That is in some states the local bodies such as school boards have the power to control education than in others. In other wards the US Public education system is highly decentralized control structure compared to other advanced western countries. As well there are private schools which are parochial and not controlled by government and highly independent. Competitiveness issues

The national Results in international comparisons indicate that the US education system is below average. As well in OECD programme for International Student Assessment 2003 indicate 15 year-old ranked 24 out of 38 in mathematics, 19 out of 38 in Science, 12 out of 38 in reading, and 26 out of 38 in problem solving. In addition many reputable has expressed concerns of the quality of US education system. For example Bill Gates has Page: 13 famously mentioned that the American High School system is obsolete.

As discussed above the US Public education system has considerable issues to be resolved if it wants to improve its educational quality in elementary, and secondary level. In my view assessing the Public education system there must be some centralization or standardization is necessary as the US Pubic education system is very decentralized and produces different quality among public schools and some private schools are parochial in nature and some students groups may left behind in such system of education because of accessibility and affordability by many student groups.

This structural problems of control and funding as well as curriculum issues must be resolved more than adequately to improve the quality of the education system and also to raise the competitiveness of US Public education system to the standards of advanced western countries and countries like Japan and Korea. In addition it also must set national standards for Teacher education and must radically revise the teaching practices and involve schools with the external business environment to raise the academic, social and problem-solving skills in a rapidly changing world to improve the issues of competitiveness of the US Education system.

The curriculum to some degree must be centralized to become uniform to sole extent because there exist different curricula in different districts and the quality differs. As curricula is an important variable which affects educational quality outcome differing quality affects the overall quality of education in US Public education. However the curriculum must also have some flexibility addressing specific local educational issues Page: 14 and must have options as well have flexibility in the timing and the attending to schools

and school hours and not strictly have strict timing of schooling. Science education must be more practical rather than school teaching and students must experience how the science works in the outside world and try to solve practical science problems in the real world and must continually update skills and experience as the changes in science field is rapid. That is the Science curriculum and teaching practices and assessment must be radically overhauled.

This is also applicable to mathematics education to raise the mathematics education quality and standard in US public education system. In addition in US in Science education the teaching of creationism in science must be resolved more than adequate to improve the quality of Science education and stress the importance of evolution theory in Science compared to creationism which do not have sustancial scientific evidence to be taught in Science classes in US public education system.

In summary the US Public education system have considerable issues which affects the quality of US Public education system’s quality and as discussed above it must resolve these issues more than adequately and must continually reform the structure of US Public education system to have a comparable quality with advanced countries and to satisfy the needs of a rapidly changing world. Page: 15 In addition there are problems arising from segregation and in equality in education and disadvantage in the US public education system which if not addressed adequately may

produce a high proportion of students do not have the adequate skills or fall behind other students and they may become unemployable and cause social problems and may also cause social instability in the future. That is if access ability is not addressed in the US education system and remedial action is taken in time it may contribute to a significant minority student groups failing to meet the skills necessary to survive in the rapidly changing world of work.

In US public education home schooling is an important factor at least in some states and these states must consider the negative impacts of home schooling and provide adequate safe guards to ensure the quality of home schooling and monitor progress continually to upgrade and to reconsider home schooling if they produce poor educational outcomes. As discussed above it is certain that the US public education has several issues affecting its quality in a negative manner.

It must reform the public education system in funding, the role of charter schools, role of home schools, degree of decentralzation and control and curriculum issues, hours of education and flexibility, teaching methods, teacher quality issues, standardized tests, regulation of private school system particularly in parochial private school system, cost of higher education and access by minority student groups, role of business in education to improve its quality of public education system in US.


Burke, F. G. ( 1990). Public Education: Who’s in Charge?.Praeger. Retrieved march 25, 2007 from http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=23097272 Daly, J. Future Schools. The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved March, 25, 2007, from http://www. edutopia. org/magazine/ed1article. php? id=Art_1750&issue=feb_07 Education in the United States. (n. d. ). Retrieved March 25, 2007, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States Hardway, R. M. ( 1995). America Goes to School: Law, Reform and Crisis in Public Education. Praeger, Retrieved March, 25, 2007, from http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=15121217

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