Teachers Talk About What’s Wrong With Education in America
In a country that invests more heavily in prisons than in schools, it’s no surprise that public education in America is not what it could be, not by a long shot. Students and teachers are being stressed to the max by a rigid, top-down control structure that makes it more and more difficult for students to learn, and makes it more and more unlikely that well-meaning people will choose educating as a career.
The most important people in a school are the students and the teachers, and when teachers have a chance to talk about what they see as the biggest problems, or most pressing obstacles, they tend to say similar things, no matter which part of the nation they are from:
- We don’t get paid well enough to survive as teachers.
- The expectations of us are far too high in terms of commitment to work.
- We do not have the resources we need.
- Standardized testing is absolutely choking the learning process and ruining school for everyone, students and teachers alike.
One of the most common grievances of teachers have is the fact that teacher pay is much lower than that of other professions, and resources for the job are often simply not available by school districts on ever-tightening budgets. The work of teaching is exceptionally challenging and requires abnormal time commitments and personal sacrifices that other careers do not call for.
In addition to these issues, teachers across the nation are becoming increasingly vocal about the negative impacts that standardized testing and Federal programs like Common Core are having on the classroom and the learning experience. It’s as though school has been entirely co-opted, stolen even, from the community, and no one at any level in the actual school building has a say in what students do during the school day. They are mostly being taught how to take tests.
There is a rising opposition to mandated standardized testing, and because the problems with public education seem to be exacerbating, it is becoming obvious to many more parents and educators that something needs to change. As a result, teacher shortages are becoming a real problem for many school districts nationwide, as the job of teaching the youth has become so difficult, under-valued, under-paid, and tightly controlled that few young professionals are willing to accept this level of duress in a career.
Even very young students are aware that eduction is no fun, that it isn’t teaching them anything useful, and that it is forcing the into compliance training. Sydney Smoot, a 9 year-old elementary student of Florida recently rocked her local school board meeting when she eloquently ripped to shreds the idea of standardized testing and the requirements it puts on students and teachers.
“This testing looks at me as a number. One test defines mea as either a failure or a success.” – Sydney Smoot
Take a look at this interesting video featuring a number of school teachers around the nation who share their thoughts on what’s wrong with education in America today.
What are your thoughts on this, and what do you think can be done to fix education?
Read more articles from Sofia Adamson.
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