School Policy and Education System Improvement
“The United States consists of over 14,000 district schools. The schools range from Mohawk Valley district school in Arizona to Los Angeles public school system.” These schools and many others are controlled and run by empowered school boards. The boards are the ones that determine everything that takes place in schools; they determine teacher salaries, class sizes, and even teaching criteria. They also control the formulation of school programs.
Schools do not differ only by class sizes, teaching criteria, and curricula. They also differ in the manner in which they are governed. For instance, America’s district schools and their governing boards are under American local governance. Additionally, the modern public schools in America are still rooted in colonial administration; some schools are still using town meetings inherited from Colonial America. “Some big-city governments also take part in appointing all school board members.” School budgets in most of the schools in America are also controlled by municipalities.
Apart from politics, other controversial issues affect education. For instance, factors such as busing to achieve desegregation, presence of charter schools, demand for more funding, teacher performance pay, and school-choice vouchers affect education in America significantly.
The busing of white children to black territories and black children to white territories was aimed at enhancing desegregation. However, the process led to the emanation of a myriad of problems. First, the amount used to purchase and fuel the buses was so significant to serve other purposes pertaining to education in America. For instance, the money would have been used in constructing school buildings and paying teachers. It is also unfair to ride the children for an hour or more, whereas local schools within their community can serve the same purpose. Additionally, most parents considering successful local schools disregard busing policy more than those who educate their children in near failing schools. Thus, socioeconomic issues and racial lines play a significant role in dividing the running of schools.
Charter schools are one of the most things that cause a contradiction in education today. They are often founded by parents, organizations, or even educators. “Although chartered schools receive government funding, they are privately managed.” On most occasions, conservatives are the ones that support these schools; democrats do not like these schools at all. Compared to private schools, chartered schools perform poorly. “In America, the number of charters that perform worse outnumbers those that do better by a ratio of 2 to 1.” However, the contradiction arises when short-time performance is observed. On most occasions, students in chartered schools learn to read and calculate mathematics faster than those juggling their education in local schools.
Most of the films released in the USA show the weakness of the American government in education. For instance, the film “Waiting for Superman” shows that America cannot afford a better education. According to it, “education spending per student has doubled in America for the past 40 years, with little or no improvement in test scores.” Additionally, most private schools perform better than public schools because they are attended by wealthier students who can afford all sorts of learning materials.
Most unions and Republic legislatures in America advocate incentives in terms of a pay rise to teachers whose students perform well. However, teacher unions strongly oppose this movement. According to them, teachers at minority schools are not responsible for the poor performance of children. Additionally, they argue that it is unfair to blame teachers on students’ personal and family problems, which trigger poor performance.
Since 1980, school choice vouchers have been receiving support from American conservatives and opposition from liberals. According to American conservatives, the awarding of parents with education certificates each year enhances academic excellence by enabling parents to enroll their children in schools of their choice. However, the liberals’ opinion differs from this one. According to them, vouchers have the potential of causing problems such as drop and closure of public schools.
Despite all challenges that schools are facing, there is a great possibility for the school system to change. For instance, the employment of multicultural and diversity policies will aid significantly in empowering the local community groups that are highly marginalized by the school system.