The essay sample on American Education System Essay dwells on its problems, providing a shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.
In the article “Let Teenagers Try Adulthood”, Leon Botstein argues that the American high school is outdated and should be totally rebuilt. The main problem high school system faced with, according to Botstein article, is an overall disintegration of the student culture, which has happened because of the prevalence of social cliques and exponentiations of sport teams over than student culture.
Moreover, the early maturity of young people in the late twentieth century has lead to the isolation of hormonally active adolescents, thereby holding teenagers beyond the developmental level.
Finally, the poor quality of teacher training is another problem schools should worry about. Giving his points of view about all these problems, Botstein suggest modifying secondary education by giving children a chance to start education at age of four or five and combining middle school and junior high school.
School should let students graduate at sixteen instead of eighteen years old and let them indulge their energies in the field of knowledge they want to pursue.
Trying to understand what has happened and what could be improved in the educational system, which was one of the best systems in the world, I can overall agree with Leon Botstein that “the American high school is obsolete and should be abolished” (“Let Teenagers Try Adulthood” Leon Botstein). However, looking over the problems, I can disagree with some of specific Botstein claims.
The main problem is not an early maturity of young people, but lack of high schools financing which leads to poor quality of teachers training and overall disintegration of the students’ culture.
Asking people of old generation which years were the most memorable and educational for them, most of them should mention years of high school. Years of transition from adolescence to adulthood, years of knowing oneself in the world, understanding their goals; this is the world of high school as it was many years ago, but not anymore. Nowadays, high school is not the place where students leave with good memories and mature to go forward.
Moreover, graduating school young people feel total frustration about the adult world understanding that they are not ready for the transition, probably the most important transition in their life. Shortening high school education will not solve the problem; instead it could lead to lack of general knowledge among future generations. At the age sixteen most of the people don’t know their carrier path, and it will be stupid to give them a chance to choose major without appropriate level of education.
Young maturity is not a reason to cut two years of high school, but it is a sing to improve high school education to the high level. As Botstein claims, one of the reasons of the high school system’s degradation is poor quality of recruitment and training for educators, which I completely agree with that statement. Teaching has always been one of the most respectful professions demanding high quality of training and dedication. It is a big responsibility to be a teacher because they could be an example for many students.
Especially today- when parents don’t spend enough time helping their children in education- teachers should be higher qualified professionals with appropriate salaries and benefits; moreover, with the opportunity to grow professionally. Tuition, that instructors give to their students, shouldn’t be within the bound of subject, but cover all the aspects of life, so young people can put learning into practice. In order to be high qualified educator- with inspiration to educate students- teachers should have more motivation.
However, most of the teachers have as low salaries and low possibility for carrier growing. The median teacher salary in the US is forty thousand dollars per year, which is not an appropriate rate for so meaningful job (http://www. payscale. com). Thereby, graduating high schools students don’t have appropriate level of education to enter the university or even college. It means that years of education and self-development in high school are useless. Degeneration of the students’ culture- which isn’t based anymore on educational goals and success- is one of the main problems high school students are facing.
They live in the world divided by the cliques. However, these are not the cliques we can think about, like groups of interest as they were before. High school cliques present savage and artificial world of insiders or outsiders, where insiders have all privileges because of their attractiveness, popularity and sport success, as Botstein mentioned in his article. Someone can think that only students are responsible for those false stereotypes they surrounded; though American movies about teenager’s life is a good example that the world of insiders and outsiders became a art of student culture all over the country. Therefore, many students, who consider themselves as a part of outsiders group, confined to a “jail” of high school environment. They don’t believe that something can change after graduating high school and life could be different beyond this artificial world. Thereby, many young people have lack of self-confidence, psychological problems which can lead to serious consequences and even violence among students, as it happened during Littleton shooting and other similar incidents.
Forty five incidents of shooting with a total number of eighty seven deaths for the last fifteen years, comparing to the same numbers in Europe with five attacks and twenty six deaths for the same period of time. Looking to the number of shootings in American middle and high schools for the last fifteen years, we can see that it is a time for changes. (nces. ed. gov) One more fact Botstein assert, which leads to degradation of student culture and make student cliques more obvious, is overrated significance of team sport.
High school administration, instead of improving quality of teaching, does everything to make their varsity team succeed. Spending vast amount of money for sport programs, giving too much power to team coaches, school administration makes students to believe that sport achievements are more important than educational success. In many schools sport has become an essential core activity. If children don’t go to school for education first, then what we get are uneducated athletes that expect a free pass throughout their lives, what doesn’t really work in real adult world.
High school is a vital part of an educational system and a beginning point of adult life for students. Development of American and any other society depends on young people and their education. Therefore, high level of education should be one of the main priorities for the government. It is time to face up with numerous problems in American High school system, and especially with lack of high school financing, which lead to low training of school personnel and breakdown of the student culture.