Is Our Education System Failing Us?

Kendal Glenn, Staff Writer '16

The American Education System has been criticized recently due to an abundance of failing schools.

Why are our schools failing in the first place?

Quite a few people believe that race, ethnicity, lower-income neighborhoods and the No Child Left Behind law are the culprits behind the gradual unraveling of our school system. For example, children who live in the suburban communities will have a greater amount of money put into their education rather than an urban community. Even though the suburban communities are not as great as they can be, they aren’t failing. The students who go to public schools in lower-income neighborhoods are more likely to drop out, get high school diplomas, or get minimum wage jobs because of the lack of support from teachers, parents, peers, and discipline. These students are failed especially because they are not given a higher education and become inadequate because they will not be able to perform at the level of an average student in a higher-income neighborhood.

How can we help the children in these schools?

Structure, discipline, and support are the three main expectations for schools that are in this predicament. If you have great leadership, a healthy environment, and high expectations to achieve along with staff members who are willing to help succeed. But overcoming issues between races and socio-economic statuses would also truly help break the decline of the school systems.

But what does the No Child Left Behind law have to do with any of this?

It has lowered the standards of most states education systems and allowed children who cannot complete necessary skills or the most basic skills continue on. It has enabled some improvement in the beginning of a child’s school career, but eventually fails them because they cannot keep up.  In February, it was brought to the attention of the U.S. Senate Committee that the NCLB act was bringing the education system down rather than helping make students more proficient.  From the testimony of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions:

That is why NCLB sought to hold every State, district, and school accountable for 100 percent of students being proficient in reading and math by the end of the 2013-2014 school year… But, the closer we have gotten to 2014, the more NCLB has changed from an instrument of reform into a barrier to reform. And, the kids who have lost the most from that change are those who benefitted the most in the early years of NCLB—students with disabilities, low-income and minority students, and English learners.

If Americans do not come up with a solution on how to change the education system, what will happen to the students come 2014?