The State of Educational System
Education is important to the nation as a resource of its current and future progress and prosperity. This general statement is unlikely to cause any debate; in fact, it has become a cliché. However, it invites the next question. What does the country have to do to help its education system meet serious challenges it faces? The debate on this issue has been going on for a long enough period. Politicians, educators, teachers, students’ parents and others see various causes of the problems. Some of these exist within the school system and are related to its philosophy and practice of teaching while others are the manifestations of the ailments that plague society and, therefore, are reflected on its schools.
Such authors as Jonathan Kozol, John Taylor Gatto, Andrew Delbanco and others believe that US the key problems to be addressed include comprehensive development of public schools and making changes in the system of teaching, with an emphasis on leadership and creativity as solutions to problems of US education. Presidents Bush and Obama acknowledged the problems of education; it was a point of their rare consent. The fact that “Republicans and Democrats speak the same language… with striking uniformity” is indicative of the extent of the problems (Delbanco). Ever more college and university leaders join those who express their concerns. President Bush pointed out that education is the force that makes the nation productive and competitive and President Obama noted that the countries with better teaching standards than in the USA will have a competitive edge over America tomorrow (Delbanco). The problems of education depending on the nation’s socioeconomic background include the decreasing affordability of American colleges and universities to more and more students and families and the “racial isolation” as a form of segregation in education becoming more pervasive in recent decades (Kozol).
The authors of the articles indicating these problems provide convincing arguments to describe the negative trends in education. An American ideal of liberal education was one of the main achievements of the young nation. However, today it gives way to the limited, pragmatic approach, in which education is seen as a set of skills needed for a certain profession. Filled with them, a person is considered to be equipped for making a career in a certain field. It is evident to some professors and educators that such a limited view on the essence of education undermines not only the liberal view of its values but also the competitiveness of the would-be American professionals in the global context. Therefore, the basic approaches to education in the USA should be revised, with the best, most progressively-thinking educators and university professors updating the process of teaching and training to make it broader and more creative. The problem of the affordability of education has an ever-increasing racial dimension. According to Kozol, predominantly white schools and those where the number of African American, Hispanic and Asian students amounts to …