Students Suffer from Antiquated System

Gabriel Vecchio

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Students Suffer from Antiquated System

For years,  Americans have been the victims of an antiquated system, designed to prepare students for college or other pathways after high school. Regardless of the pathway students take, school is made to help students find an eventual career.  The system starts young—five-year-olds are the first targeted—and progresses year-by-year. By the time students turn 18, they’ve become “just another person in a drab world.” This is the public school system.  

Today’s job market has diversified and expanded to a magnitude of different industries; while the school system seems like it hasn’t. Factory-style schedules with long days and just two breaks: one long and one short are still in effect today and as they have been, since the turn of the twentieth century. Fast forward 100 years and things still haven’t changed. Schools include basic teachings, implemented so students would be used to the dull work in day-to-day factory life.  This leads to an increased number of high school students feeling unprepared for the college scene,  and the dynamic shift in life after high school.

And we have to wake up at 6:00 in the morning what are we doing? Herding cattle?

Paul Morse
President George W Bush speaks at the Woodridge Elementary and Middle Campus in Washington.

Over the last few years, the public school system has seen changes of great scope. In 2001, President Bush signed the “No Child Left Behind Act,” which enforced a proficiency requirement in all 50 states.  

“…In order to avoid having their schools labeled as failures, some states, perversely, have actually had to lower their standards, labelled as many as ‘a race to the bottom,’” President Obama said in a speech about NCLB in 2011.   

This act will only hurt students more after they graduate.  The job market is becoming increasingly competitive, while the school systems are spiraling lower and lower.  This could only lead to America’s influence decreasing as a world leader in education.

Unfortunately, students of the public system have suffered tremendously, and cutbacks in spending have only hurt the system more. According to the CBPP (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) at least 35 states provided less funding per student for the 2013-14 school year than they did before the recession hit. What’s even more concerning is that 14 of those states have cut per-student funding by more than 10 percent. This leaves less money in an already draining supply of funding, which could cut extracurriculars and other classes outside of the “a-g” requirements.

In 2015 President Obama signed a bipartisan act to “rewrite the NCLB act,” dubbed the “Every Student Succeeds Act;” this was however, short lived…

Now, with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos’ plan to implement a voucher system in public schools, it seems that the public school system will only go further downhill.  Schools that suffer academically now will only get worse.  Because within this attempt to boost competitive teaching, inner city schools are actually receiving less qualified teachers, while the well-performing schools are receiving better ones. 

Gage Skidmore
U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Low-performing schools are essentially being swept under the rug, and are unfortunately unable to experience growth. This, on top of the decrease in funding, will lead to a decrease in college readiness.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there. Students are forced to partake in demoralizing standardized tests such as the ACT ™ and SAT ™ , designed to filter students through a “one size fits most” approach. In addition to taking a test designed to filter the thinking of the young mind, the College Board is lining its pockets with the frustration of students.  Are we really defined by one standardized test?

All-in-all most people go through the same things high school students go through now, and they turned out alright- albeit today’s educational system is much more competitive.  The acceptance rate for Yale in 1980 was 26.4 percent, and today it is a cold 6.3 percent.  Someday I hope there might be an educational revolution, for now just get some sleep.