There is no doubt that the present education system is in the dire need of a revolution. Educators and administrators both agree that there is a state of crisis prevalent in public schools, but executing a plan of action to take them in the right direction is a monumental task. Here are some of the issues faced by schools today:
Reports indicate as many as 22% of all children living in the US are at or below the poverty line Poverty is defined as a family of four having an annual income of below $23,050. Further reports from American Graduate indicate that students from low-income backgrounds comprise the vast majority of public school pupils in 17 US states. Students below the poverty level are likely to have higher drop-out rates. Psychological studies show us that the students who are unable to get enough sleep or food do not perform up to their full academic potential. While the principle behind education for all is sound, the execution is still definitely lacking as the government is still unable to provide basic essentials to its dependents.
Lack of Funding
The severe lack of funds for public schools over the years has only been made worse by budget cuts. They are unable to hire large teams, have poor infrastructure and cannot provide too many services or facilities to the students. For the sake of debate, some may say that throwing money at an issue will not eradicate it, but the cold hard truth is that the lack of funding is what caused these issues in the first place.
Size of Classrooms
Yet another issue is that the number of students grows year after year, but the classrooms are tiny. Most of them are already filled way beyond their capacity and seem to be overflowing. Georgia, for example, is one of the many states which have lifted limits on class sizes to be able to accommodate more students for the limited faculty. Ideally, class sizes of 15-30 have been seen to have best effects for students. South Carolina and Virginia have, however, tried to pass proposals to increase classroom sizes.
Familial or External Factors
While most teachers would insist that the students keep their personal lives separate from their academic experience, this rarely happens, especially with younger children. The circumstances on the outside, especially family matters will definitely have an impact on their minds, their classroom performance, and their academics as well. Single parents, poverty, divorce, domestic violence, assault; each of these serious issues could tremendously affect their experience in the school. The administrators and faculty would then have to go out of their way to make provisions for these children so that they can keep pace with the rest of the class.
Technology in the Classroom
Technology is getting more and more intuitive, and with it, so is education. The new generation is a lot more conversant and comfortable with technology compared to their teachers, which puts the instructors at a disadvantage. Further, access to technology leads to distraction due to the wide range of social and entertainment content which the students can tap into even during class.Even if the technology is refined enough to be integrated into the education system, not a lot of public schools would be able to afford it, which would further increase the gulf between public and private education.
Bullying and Student Attitudes
This isn’t a new problem, but it is as prevalent now as it ever was before. With new avenues opened up by technology, cyber bullying is also an extreme concern today. Students who are vulnerable and insecure could fall prey to bullying and this could have terrible effects on their self-esteem and also on their learning. It is very difficult for schools to implement and enforce strict anti-bullying rules due to non-cooperation from parents and students coming in from all sorts of different backgrounds. Students seem to be displaying disrespect and apathy towards teachers, and absenteeism, tardiness, and rowdiness are also issues, although they are more prevalent at secondary schools than they would be at a play group school.
There is really no good way to get parents integrated with the schooling system. Teachers have tried and failed; some parents won’t be around when they’re needed, while others will keep looming and try to interfere with the process.
There are many more issues, but these are the most prevalent. Identifying the problems is half the battle, and working constructively to eliminate the same is the other half. Educators, lawmakers, and parents must unite to successfully bring about a change in the education paradigm for students and drastically improve the quality and the experience of education imparted in schools.