American Education: Striving to Compete

For the country, the education system within the United States is often ranked far below many other countries from around the world. Our current system of entitlement, one that “guarantees” a free education that is both fair and equal is faltered when compared to other educational systems globally. According to a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States and the Netherlands are the only two countries that do not require a standardized or partially standardized curriculum within a primary school. According to the same report the United States is one of a small handful that offer school of choice using restrictions to limit a parents ability to enroll their children into a desired school.

Many persons within the education across the United States have debated both the pros and cons of whether or not a national curriculum would enhance a student’s education within the public education system. However, this debate is wrought with one simple argument of whether or not education is a federal or state issue. Competing globally, one could easily be persuaded in the nationalistic components of public education. However, those that believe public education is merely a state responsibility often argue the needs of the local areas with less of an emphasis placed on the global demand.

Whether or not parents should be allowed to enroll their student in schools of their choice has again brought much debate across the nation. One of the biggest arguments against school of choice within the United States centers on the harsh realities of the underprivileged within society. Simply put, those parents that do not have the means to transport their children to better schools would be in a sense condemning their children to a poor education. Those that favor school of choice, argue the importance of competition, that “failing” schools will have no choice but to improve.

Neither of the issues are a cure for the American Public Education System. They are merely two of the many differences that exist between the United States and many of the other countries around the world. The one core belief that all professionals within the field of education must agree upon, is that everything we do in the public education arena should be centered on the needs of the students that are served in classrooms across the country each and every day. Those politicians that are so far removed from the front lines of education, if education is to change in a positive manner, must begin to ignore the lobbyist in Washington D.C. and begin listening to those teachers on the front lines.

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