Title of the Paper
(Critical Thinking Essay: Final Essay)
(Kadeejah Johnson, [emailprotected])
Number and Name of Course
(Introduction to Political Science – Hist&Gov 130)
Class Meeting Time/Day
(T/T: 11:00 A.M. – 12:20 P.M.)
(Dr. Carmen Walker)
(Thursday May 2, 2017)
Bowie State University
Department of History and Government
The most important social issue affecting the United States children and students in the year 2017 is education. The issues that are affecting Education are class sizes in urban area schools, the No Child Left Behind Act, student health and government funding. These issues have been major characteristics of failure in both students and teachers, because the students are not getting the attention they need due to classes being too big. The teachers are not able to teach the students the fundamental values, and important subjects that they need because of the no child left behind act, limiting teachers to teaching for standardized test. Both students and teachers are affected by the limited funding, and the student’s health due to ineffective lunch programs. Most importantly these factors need a solution, these teachers and students need funding, they need the fundamental education that was once given to my generation prior to 2002. Education is the basis for all citizens to achieve in life, and to invest in their American Dream. To be educated is to be given the necessary values and materials needed to be modeled citizens.
The classroom sizes are a major issue facing students in public schools. For example, public schools in Georgia faced a huge budget cut and caused schools to be closed (Background on Education.2016). The class sizes at a local elementary school had gone from 16 to 27. The most difficult task was teachers being able to compensate for all the new students that had entered the classroom. A more local and recent incident was in Fairfax County Virginia where faculty, are looking to propose increasing classroom sizes during significant budget cuts. The funding issue has caused schools along the East Coast to create an initiative to ensure that class sizes matter. There has been study’s indicating that minorities appear to benefit from smaller classroom sizes the most. In cases, such as these, the government has two options in dealing with the full class sizes. Liberals and other party leaders should advocate for smaller class sizes, and or building more schools. Generally, this does imply opposition to funding private schools. The building of more schools is a huge budget situation, that most federal government can assist in is building more classrooms in schools that have unused space.
The second issue facing Education is the “No Child Behind Act” which was set in place by President W Bush in 2002, to help assist students with national test. There are many reasons why this is a problem with education because it only allows teachers to educate their students based on the next State and or National test. Many teachers and parents see this as a detriment to public education environment (Koenig, Larry.2016). The Obama Administration worked on reform NCLB policies, however the focus of education on both National and State level continues to be on the testing process. The government has taken the fundamental importance of education away from both teachers and students, and have created competition among them. If the students do not perform well on the test, they are placed into this pool and are judge based on how they perform. For teachers, there is this quota that they must meet to receive funding for projects and programs (Jones, Maurice,2016). Student test scores are now being used by several states to evaluate teacher performance, which ultimately puts pressure on faculty to remediate those who do as well. The government can simply assistance by implementing a new bill in terms of riding the system of standardized test, and more so replacing it with what teachers across the country feel is appropriate. There also should be more involvement from the National Education Association in regards to assisting teachers with training and the tools they need to make and produce great students.
Student health is a leading factor in why they are not performing as the State or District expects. The problem that is so prominent is, obesity which has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The same poor eating habits that led to the obesity problem may have led to the obesity problem, which also may be contributing to lower student achievement. It has increased a student’s risk for other conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure (Central Advisory Council for Education 2014). Such conditions result in higher absenteeism and more academic issues. This is where the national school lunch movement “Let’s Move” had been created to bring healthier options into school lunchrooms across the country. The Department of Agriculture released guidelines in 2012 to increase the nutritional quality of the meals. There have been exercise programs set in place to promote more physical activity among students of all ages. There is still work that needs to be done to get students to be more active and given healthier options during lunch periods. Then there is what the government must do or should do to help this situation; which is simply to increase the amount of funding, and initiate another program where the food is not only healthy but taste and looks appetizing as well. The next step is to discover new ways that teachers can incorporate their individual snack time for those in K-3. These are important factors that should encourage schools and administration as well as the government to move with urgency, as well as effectiveness so that students are given what they will hopefully continue- their education.
The final issue that is the reason Education has become an issue is the lack of funding. The most detrimental thing that any government can do is make budget cuts, and making one or more of those cuts to education. Budget cuts have created a massive problem for most public schools in recent years (Bruner, J. S. (2010). Less funding results in smaller staff, fewer resources, and a lower number of services for students. There is a laundry list of challenges that are continuously occurring in schools, for example when cuts were made to field trips and other small programs such as after school programs, teachers and staff began to question what was more important to the government that they cut after school programs? That is a question that both future educators and educators today are questioning. The government can assist in these areas by identifying the worth in education, and why there must be more money set in place for such reasons. For example, making the national budget for education at $12 million dollars per school district. If there are two schools or four in one community cluster; split the money four ways and have administration indicate how and when the money is issued to the schools.
To restate, there are ways that the government can assist the issues of classroom sizes, the no child left behind act, student health and funding. Although the ways that have been mentioned in the government acting more intuitive to the educational system, these are just proposals. There are a lot of ways that the education system can be altered or funded, but it is simply the choice of the government to act upon those issues. Teachers as well as students are always changing, their needs are evolving, and the level of education is increasing in demands of Universities. Education is a very broad topic to discuss in terms of the issues that it will face soon. The best thing that those who are becoming educators must do, is to invest money into their students, because there are so many that have the protentional to become great modeled citizens, it is just as the proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child”, it also takes the right resources and people to teach one.
Reynolds, Glenn Harlan Northwestern University School of Law Chicago.
Shapiro, T. Rees. “Fairfax schools chief class for $96 million in budget cuts; proposal increases class sizes.” The Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2014.
Jones, Maurice. “Education.” Local Initiatives Support Corporation, May 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
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