Education System in the United States of America
The education system in the United States of America is regarded as one of the advanced learning systems in the world. There have been tremendous steps taken to include all the disciplines in learning. Thus, the US education system incorporates all the aspects of learning, from cultural practices, sports, and academic specialization to industrial trainings organized by employers.
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The system of education in the USA offers a variety of choices and specialization areas where students can exploit to enhance their skills and talents in various fields. Moreover, numerous schools offer educational programs to national and international students. American schools, universities, and colleges are the envy of the world. Some of the leading universities and colleges in the world are located in the USA. The above characteristics of the system of education have evolved over a long period of time, as at some point in history, the system had faced significant challenges due to racism. In multi-race American society, there has been discrimination in learning institutions, a problem that has hindered the learning activities for a long time. Thus, the USA has been faced with the problems of inequality in the education system as some people had been segregated based on their culture, religion, race or gender. The paper critically analyzes the American system of education; it specifically focuses on the equality of education from early childhood to university system.
Inequality in Education
For a long time, inequality in education has been experienced in the United States of America. The situation has been exasperated by the differences in race and cultural beliefs as well as lack of extensive government support. The perception of American society should be uniform in that everyone should have the right to education because social order can only be experienced when people achieve uniformity in the education sector (Dewey 12). Thus, every individual across the United States and around the world has the right to acquire education in any area of interest (Woodson 76). All people should have access to the elementary, technical, or professional system of education. They should be given access to these systems by the application of merits; there should be no favor in terms of gender or any other factors that can compromise the system. Free access to education can enable people to become self-productive and acquire a higher status in society. Education should enable people to be self-driven and think beyond the national perspective.
Approaches to Education Systems
John Dewey had a traditional approach to education system, which was criticized by people of many generations. However, his approaches involved segregations in terms of race, ethnicity, and economic domination (Jacobus 44). This approach eradicated the essence of communal integration in society. According to this philosophy, the efforts that teachers make to ensure high scores for the students are also compromised in the learning process. Thus, teachers tend to take sides under the influence of race or ethnicity. However, the education system needs to be free from segregation. Every individual should be given an attention to ensure uniform movement towards success.
Purpose of Education
Improving equality in education will enable people to expand their opportunities on the global competitive market and improve their lives by enabling them to reach the desired position. Without equal education to all, many individuals will remain in poverty, which may decrease their chances of achieving better social status (Dewey 12). Furthermore, this can lead to the low economic income to the country due to low productivity of citizens and workers in general (Dewey 12).
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The government or society should attempt to generate ideas that ensure the provision of education to all in regardless of race, gender, or culture. Cultural norms that prevent female individuals from occupying high ranks in education should be eradicated to enable equality in education in the USA and around the world. Everyone is equal, and no groups of people should be denied the chance to obtain education. Thus, society should integrate learning systems to encourage common knowledge in all groups of people. When there are common systems of education, society will be able to achieve high level of sanity, which will improve peaceful coexistence of different races (Woodson 34). By introducing a common of system education, the world can agree on the better ideas that can help in achieving sustainability measures. The elimination of wars and agreement on climate change can be possible as well.
The American system of education should enhance the provision of a greater number of specialization areas to enable people with varied skills to achieve their desired level of knowledge. Some people have skills, but they lack in the areas of training and exposure. For instance, many people with potential in scientific research cannot achieve success because of discrimination or lack of exposure to practical skills. Thus, these individuals can become drivers of the economy in any country if they are given the opportunity to be successful in the education sector.
Education and the Economy
The role of education is to provide skilled workers, capable of controlling economic challenges that faced the investments in the business sector. Thus, Karl Marx’s philosophy on the relationship between economy and education suggests that economic issues that relate to education include financing education systems, the demand for education by different social classes, and the provision of educational services. Most poor people cannot access financial sources to fund their studies, and this leads to inequality in an attempt to expand knowledge in economy. There are many school and college dropouts in the USA; this happens because there is lack of proper financing to further their education in the higher institutions of learning.
The ideas of education are still poor, especially to the schools in the rural areas of the United States. Most private investors move in to start private schools that prove to be too expensive for poor people. The idea leads to increased segregation between the rich and the poor. In these schools, there are provisions of proper learning materials that cannot be found in rural schools. In her book Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools, Diane Ravitch expresses that there is a need for the government to balance the system of education so that everyone could remain relevant in American society (27). Thus, some schools and colleges still offer poor education due to the lack of provision of facilities by both the state and the federal government. In private schools, only the rich can get the opportunity to study because of high tuition fees, paid in exchange for quality education. Universities are also marred with great discrimination from lecturers to students. The admission to some courses is still full of racism, especially in rural colleges and universities. Thus, some schools and colleges receive sufficient funding from the government, while others still have to rely on the tuition fees paid by their students.
The facilities in the schools found in poor areas of the United States are of low quality as compared to those found in the private schools and urban centers (Ravitch 32). This creates a big difference in the quality of education that students obtain in various areas of the country. Therefore, equality can be achieved if there is equal distribution of resources to all schools across the United State of America.
To ensure equal access to education, it is the responsibility of both the state and national government to distribute resources among schools equally. The federal government can pass a bill that subsidizes the cost of education, thereby allowing more students to have access to free or affordable education. The government can also establish the regulations that govern all private and public schools towards performance improvement. The education sector involves numerous activities that can only be controlled by the government. For instance, the government might decide to improve the quality of the courses offered in various universities by establishing links with various companies on the job market. This will lead to strengthening the quality of education offered by learning institutions (Ravitch 25).
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Roles of the Government in the Provision of Education
The role of the government as stipulated in the law is to provide education to all individuals. Through access to free education, everyone in society, including the rich and the poor, is able to benefit from the system. The introduction of free education also reduces the level of school and college dropouts, thereby decreasing the gap between the elites and non-elites. The actions made by the government can achieve equality in knowledge distribution to everyone. The government does not live up to the deal of establishing equality in the education system. Although there are some improvements in the provision of world-class education standards, the effect can only be felt in some regions that do not contribute to the larger percentage of quality standards. There are still many poor and middle-class people who cannot get access to quality education as compared to the rich; this means that there are disparities in the quality of education that people obtain from schools, colleges, and universities.
Almost half of the funds distributed to schools across the United States come from the local taxes made on properties; this means that the regions with high property taxes tend to receive more funds as compared to those in the areas with low property taxes. For instance, New Jersey is the leading state with annual funding of over $8,800 per student (Andersen and Taylor 440). This means that students have better opportunities of learning and not just learning, but quality learning. The region that receives low funds per student in Utah, with annual funding of $3,800 per student (Andersen and Taylor 440). The above factors show the great disparity in the distribution of resources for the provision of high education standards.
The remuneration of teachers is another factor that contributes to the inequality in the education sector. For example, a highly paid teacher in the United States earns over $80,000 annually while the least paid teacher gets close to $35,000. This income disparity shows that some teachers have enough experience to produce high-quality teaching to the students. There is always a high tendency to find highly experienced teachers in some regions than others. Therefore, this shows that inequality still exists in the provision of education to the public. Furthermore, the performance in school districts is still low as compared to the private and urban schools. This is characterized by the provision of facilities in the two groups of schools, which proves the existence of inequality in performance.
Provision of Free or Low-Cost Services to Children Through the School System
The inequality in the education system has been attributed to the fact that some students cannot access education due to a lack of enough tuition fees. The above reason has widened the gap between the elite and the non-elite groups of people in the United States. The provision of low cost or free services in schools will enable the poor students to afford education in public and private schools. The provision of low-cost services can greatly reduce the number of school dropouts, thereby enhancing knowledge distribution (Van de Werfhorst and Mijs 415). This may include the formulation of policies that can lead to subsidized fees.
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The above idea can be effectively implemented if the government throws its efforts towards supporting rural schools that have been left behind for a long period of time. The low cost services can lead to the increased enrolment of students to schools, thereby improving the level of literacy in these regions (Buchmann et al. 452). Accessing high-quality centers for learning has been a major challenge for many students from the poor or middle-class families. The introduction of subsidized or free services can enable many people to receive a high quality education. Improving the grade, especially in science and math, is a major dream that every American student look forward to. The access to quality learning institutions allows students to interact with the experienced teachers, capable of enhancing knowledge and acting as role models.
Introduction of Charter School
The introduction of charter schools enables students to improve their general grades, an opportunity they cannot gain from district schools. These forms of schooling enable students to acquire quality learning that is unavailable in district schools. Thus, charter schools are able to formulate their policies that aim at improving students’ grades (Assel et al. 48). The child’s level of understanding and general performance depend on the kind of education they get from schools. Quality education delivery imposed by charter schools enables students to improve their performance and general understanding of life.
Funding of Universal Pre-Kindergarten or Head Start School Programs
In the US education system, many children are left out of the early systems of education. The above situation can enable such children to acquire a basic education system that prepares them for the acquisition of advanced knowledge in the evolving education arena. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure the provision of education to children by all means; the quality of education can be enhanced by training more nursery and kindergarten experts, capable of managing the expanding area of education (Wong et al. 145).
The low number of early child trainings is the reason for the ballooning illiteracy in the district or rural areas. With the establishment of free or affordable early childhood institutions, the level of education will improve greatly in terms of quality grades and experience in the basic knowledge acquisition (Assel et al. 472). The pre-school funds come from the federal government or the state governments. These governments can decide to pass a law that enables children to attend early childhood centers. Although there is a need to increase the attendance of pre-school units, some states in the United States have long been in great support for the project. Georgia, for example, has a record of over 44,000 children who are under the pre-unit programs, and this has shown a positive trend in the education system of the state (Gormley and Phillips 72).
The inequality in education has been experienced in the United States of America for a long period of time. The situation has been advanced by the differences in race or cultural beliefs as well as the lack of extensive government support. John Dewey had a traditional approach to the education system, but it received great criticism from the people of many generations. His approaches involved segregation in terms of race, ethnicity, and economic domination. The level of education is still low, especially in the schools in the rural areas of the United States. Most private investors move in to start private schools, but they are too expensive for poor people. Improving equality in education will enable people to expand their opportunities in the global competitive market and improve their lives by reaching the desired position. With the establishment of free education, everyone in society will benefit from the system.