American education system is full of flaws


Used with permission: Pixabay

The American education system is a stale, under-supported and misshapen mess that contributes to the United States falling farther behind on the global scale. Global test scores as surveyed by the Program for International Student Assessment showed the U.S. as ranking 31 on average scores in reading, mathematics and science.

Ava Nelson, Staff Writer

For years the United States was known as one of, if not the, leading nations of the world. We were driven by hardworking individuals prepared by a stellar education system, a system now flawed by years of degrading changes. The American education system is a stale, under-supported and misshapen mess that contributes to the U.S. falling farther behind on the global scale.  

Global test scores as surveyed by the Program for International Student Assessment show the U.S. as ranking 31 on average scores in reading, mathematics and science. Leading countries include Singapore as first, Hong Kong as second and Japan as third. 

Many problems that face public education stem from the lack of funding for schools or the mismanagement of money in the state or county. Flaws plaguing the system often remain unchanged causing further damage.  

In a fast-paced world interconnected by technological advancements, the international playing field calls for collegeeducated, innovative students to tackle problems such as climate damage and gun violence. Students across American schools are eager to answer that call as shown through their marches and movements, yet our country’s education system is failing them.  

While I have had a very positive experience at Plant, and I have deep respect and admiration for the teachers and staff here, I believe the main problems plaguing the public education system lay outside the basis of our school. At the national and even state level, a curriculum that is unnecessary for the real world has been made mandatory, while basic life skills remain untaught to students.  

Balancing a checkbook, knowledge of how to handle money and jobs and even certain home economics skills are often not presented to students, leaving them to enter life on their own. This often results in young Americans ending up ill-prepared and overwhelmed depending on themselves. 

The absence of essential life skills being taught at school also creates a particular disadvantage for those students who may not have a parent figure in their lives to show them these skills. Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts in the U.S. come from families without a father figure according to the National Principles Association.   

Another area that the education system falls short in is the structure of classes. American systems of education mainly focus on a school curriculum rarely honed at home except in hours of grueling homework, in classes of around 30 students who rely on overworked yet underpaid teachers for help.  

In other countries, discovery and extracurricular activities are encouraged outside of the school walls, creating students who know how to perform outside of an exam. The country of Finland structures their schools with a relatively short academic week and the rest includes schoolsponsored extracurriculars. A third of Finnish classes are actually extracurricular ideas according to 

Countries such as South Korea also create a large student population for each class, teaching students to rely on one another and to encourage good performance in the class. Problem-solving through a community is created instead of relying on one teacher to try and solve a plethora of students’ confusion in a single period.  

While many problems lay inside of the school system, some settle in the student body themselves. Students often lack respect for teachers and motivation in school and work. Students should be driven by a sense of honor and accomplishment in academics, not out of fear failing an exam or utter lack of caring.  

Even with certain defects and imperfections in the U.S. education system, many things are being done right as well. Certain classes captivate students and push students, bringing out their full potential. 

While the American education system falls short in many ways, faith remains in the bright students and hardworking teachers so many people including me have encountered. These difficulties will not solve themselves, and to create better people of tomorrow, we need to fix our education system today.