America vs. The World

November 15, 2011
Worn books, fresh notebooks, sharpened pencils all part of an over-filled classroom. Children learn differently, but in classrooms like these, every child is taught in the same way. Teachers have children memorize facts, and after a certain age, children begin to forget the facts as soon as the math test or science quiz is taken. The American school system teaches its children based on old-fashioned teaching methods. The worn books have come, as a result, from education cuts on spending. With outdated teaching supplies and over-filled classrooms, how can U.S. children ever be expected to rival countries like Japan, who pays teachers more than the U.S. ever has? I have heard government officials on TV complain about the U.S. falling behind countless times, but instead of complaining about the problems, people should work on a solution. Teaching supplies, school lunches and after school activities have been cut due to education spending cuts, but do the spending cut mean that U.S. children aren’t given the same educational opportunities as the rest of the world?
Most teachers today teach students using teaching methods that haven’t been improved or changed since the 1930s. Students memorize facts and rules that will be soon forgotten. I, much like countless American students, have memorized facts for a test only to forget much of it as soon as the test was taken. Complex equations, scientific formulas, and atomic numbers are memorized even though most students will never need to know or use in the “real world.” In the “real world” students need to know specific tasks and procedures based on the job they wish to pursue a career in. Schools today don’t prepare students enough for the career they want in the future. Many of my friends have already decided what they want to purse a career in, but without vocational schools many of them would be taking pointless classes, only taking them to meet their graduation requirements. Students are forced to fulfill a prerequisite, leaving students taking classes with few other choices even though some students, who already know their career choice, won’t need to know the facts their classes are teaching them.
Battered books and damaged desks are the only supplies some students have, but they still sit in classroom and learn like students who sit in rooms with new books, respectable classrooms, and highly skilled teachers. While other countries spend money on providing the best for their schools, the U.S. lacks even providing their schools with quality lunches. In most schools, lunches are processed, store-bought pizzas, greasy fried foods, and canned fruits and vegetables. Schools around the world make fresh healthy lunches for students while the American schools continue to cut education spending and give kids fatty lunches.
While failing to provide a quality education, American schools can be improved. The government needs to realize, that although it seems like an unfixable problem, there are simple solutions to begin fixing the way students are taught. If schools can focus less time on memorizing facts and more on jobs skills for the future, schools would produce skilled, prepared young adults for working life. Parents have two choices when sending their child to school: public or private. A vast majority of public schools, especially in the city, are overcrowded. While students are not given the attention they deserve, schools could be built to solve this clogged school system. Other countries pay teachers more than the U.S., which provides those countries with more experienced, qualified teachers. If the U.S. wants to keep up with other countries, then the only option is to pay teachers more. Teachers in other countries were the best in their grades, which allows students to receive a quality education. If American students are expected to rival these countries academically, then the U.S needs to pay teachers more in order to get the best teachers. Schools also need to feed students with higher quality foods. Students spend a vast amount of time at school, and if they are constantly fed junk food, they begin to lose the energy they need to focus on school. To fix this problem, schools can buy fresh locally grown foods from farmers. Cooking fresh meals would not only provide students with healthy lunches, but it would stimulate the local economy.
For the U.S. to ever hope to become an educational world power, then the only solution is to change to old. Harder classes, fresher lunches, more experienced teachers, and a more focused curriculum are just a few of the problems schools need to fix. For a country that is considered a world power, the American public needs to focus more on education or else the U.S. will continue to fall behind.





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