My mom’s a teacher so I have a special hatred for the current state of the educational system in the US. I have heard so many awful true stories that I am amazed I made it out alive.
Complaint the First: Standardized testing. By this day and age, have we not determined everyone learns differently? One thing you are asked to learn in various graduate programs (if you haven’t figured it out before then) is how you learn. Are you a visual learner? Auditory? Kinetic? A various combination thereof? Do you have high anxiety about testing? Do you have slower reading comprehension? TOO BAD! You will take the same test as everyone else with no help and at the exact same length of time. My mother teaches in financially challenged districts. During a standardized test, the question was asked of the children about souvenirs and vacation. How many poor families do you know that head off to a vacation and buy souvenirs? Here’s the answer: none. The kids had no idea what a souvenir was or how to answer that question. I have no doubt the kids all failed that question abysmally. This type of logic is probably what lead to the Atlanta Public School Scandal (if you’re not familiar, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Public_Schools_cheating_scandal).
Complaint the Second: Common Core. I don’t trust most people and I really don’t trust the government to be able to handle most things, but public education? That’s like the blind leading the deaf. Thankfully, most states and local municipalities have realized the error of common core and repealed it. What would be the point in a federal level of education except to keep tabs on the purse strings? All children should know their alphabet, counting, basic math, reading and writing but beyond that, it should be up to the parents, teachers, and school districts. It is entirely possible a child in Portland, Oregon does not need the same curriculum as a child in Miami, Florida.
Complaint the Third: Teacher pay and the desperate need for more teachers. I am not even sure how this logic works but nearly every state in the country is experiencing a teacher shortage, yet most do not pay worth a damn. How do you expect someone to take a job – ANY JOB- if you don’t pay them what they are worth? It gets worse, though, my friends. If you pay worth shit, only the truly desperate will take the jobs and when we’re talking about our children’s education, desperation should not be the name of the game.