Opinion

Public education system is broken, needs reform

Education is something that has so much power. It has the possibility to change lives and better the future. It is through education and knowledge that the world evolves and new creations come to reality. Unfortunately, the education system in America does not do every student justice.

The vast majority of children in America are educated by the public school system. They rely on the government and their districts to make sure they have everything they need in the classroom. Throughout our country, there are hundreds of public school districts that don’t have enough funding to provide their students with adequate resources, teachers and a positive environment to succeed.

To begin, we have Betsy DeVos, a person who has no prior public school experience running the Department of Education and having the final say in regards to the public school system. When she was up for appointment to the position, she was questioned about her personal and past experience in the public school system; she has never worked in a public school, has never attended a public school herself and has never sent any of her children to a public school before.

If the education system is broken, then it not only affects students— it affects everyone. Students are the ones who will grow up and lead our country so we need to be paying closer attention to what is happening in the systems that are educating them. We go to school only two hours north of one of the worst public school systems in the country. If the youth are the leaders of the nation and the world, how do we ensure they are prepared to take on the future without providing them with a quality education?

In order to fix the broken system, major reform is needed. We won’t be able to fix it all over night but let’s start making small steps forward instead of regressing. We need to stop standardizing the school system so much. Children’s brains are natural sponges: They are going to absorb information quickly, although some will do so at different levels. Standardized tests should not be one of the sole factors on how a school is funded. Standardized tests aren’t even an adequate measure of a student’s knowledge or capability to retain information.

Low income districts should be given the same resources and opportunities as the high income districts. Just because a little boy or girl comes from a poor city doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the same equal opportunities to flourish. All students deserve to have excellent teachers, tutoring resources and after-school and extracurricular programs.

For many students, school is their safe space. It is where they go to receive a free meal and a place where they can channel all their emotions and put it into something positive, like their school work.

Our former First Lady Michelle Obama was especially keen on education and trying to better the system. She once said, “With an education, you have everything you need to rise above all the noise and fulfill every last one of your dreams.” Education is the way to broaden horizons and expand the mind with different perspectives. Students should only have to wake in the morning go to school, do their homework and not worry about the politics of their school.  

Chelsea is a freshman intending on majoring in journalism. What are your thoughts on the public school system? Send any comments to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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