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AnnaRad

Mr.Rogers
Government2
23October2015
EducationalReform
TheUnitedStatesisoneofthewealthiestcountriesintheworld,howeverwearepoorin
thesenseofacademicstandards.Classroomshavebeenupgradedfornewtechnology,teachers
haveacollegedegree,andamajorityofstudentsarewillingtolearn.Somehowthereisa
disconnectbetweentheamountoffundingdedicatedtoschools,andstudentsuccessrates.It's
commonknowledgethatstudentsinothercountrieslikeFinland,China,Korea,andJapanare
excellingacademically.USstudentsaregettingtheshortendofthestickanditsaffectingtheir
abilitytoattendgoodschoolsandworkinwellpayingjobs.WaitingforSupermanisa
documentarythatexplorestheAmericanschoolsystems.Throughoutthedocumentary,
differentaspectsoftheAmericanpubliceducationsystemareexamined.Thingssuchastheease
inwhichapublicschoolteacherachievestenure,theinabilitytofireateacherwhoistenured,
andhowthesystemattemptstoreprimandpoorlyperformingteachersareshowntohavean
impactontheeducationalenvironment.Teachingstandardsarecalledintoquestionasthereis
oftenconflictingbureaucracybetweenteachingexpectationsattheschool,state,orfederal
level.(GeoffreyCanada).Thequestionishowcanweimproveteachertrainingsothatall
studentsgetanequalopportunitytosucceed.Weneedtoincreasegraduationrates,trainteachers
toteachthesubjectsthattheyknow,andteachthemtoteachtoalltypesofstudents.The

Progressiveteacherguideslearnersthroughcarefullydesignedexperiences,(Elkind).But
teachersarentdoingthisbecausemostteachersarentprogressive.
IntheUnitedStates,onaverageonly3.2millionstudentsgraduatefromhighschool.The
DistrictofColumbia(DC)ournationscapitalhadthelowestgraduationratein2014withonly
59%ofstudentsgraduating.AstudyconductedbyTheAllianceforExcellentEducationin2009
showedshockingresults,approximately600,000studentsdroppedoutfromtheclassof2008
atgreatcostnotonlytothemselvesbutalsototheircommunities(CBIA).AndEveryyear
morethan380,000studentsfailoutofcollegeintheUnitedStates,(UniversityofAlabama).In
factTheAmericanPsychologicalAssociationtakesthepositionthatpovertyanddropoutsare
inextricablyconnectedinthethreeprimarysettingsaffectinghealthychildandadolescent
development:families,schoolsandcommunities(APA).Manydropoutsfaceextremelybleak
economicandsocialprospects.Comparedtohighschoolgraduates,theyarelesslikelyfindajob
andearnalivingwage,andmorelikelytobepoorandtosufferfromavarietyofadversehealth
outcomes(Rumberger,2011).Oneofthereasonswhystudentsarefailingcanbedirectly
relatedtosometheteachersortheirteachingstyles.
Someteachersmayhaveacurseofknowledgecomplex.Thisistheinabilitytoteacha
subjectthattheyareextremelyfamiliarandknowledgeableof.Otherteachersmaybe
overwhelmedbytheteachingcurriculumwhileothersmaynotcarebecauseoftheirtenure
status.Anotherreasoncouldbeunpreparedteachers.Astudyreleasedin2014bytheNational
CouncilonTeacherQuality(NCTQ),arguesthatteachingcollegesaretoolenientintheir
admissionscriteriaandhavefailedtopreparetheirstudentstoteachsubjectslikereading,math
andscience(Sanchez).Additionally,theNCTQwouldargue,thatnotonlyaretheseprograms

failingtotraineffectiveteachers,they'realsomakingthingsharderforthemselvesbyadmitting
inferiorapplicants.ThreeoutoffourU.S.schoolsthattrainteachersdon'trequireapplicantsto
beinthetophalfofthecollegegoingpopulation(NCTQ).Acombinationofthesefactors
affectseveryschool,ineverystate,inthisnation.
Someteachersdontknowtoteachtoalltypesoflearners.AccordingtoGardners
multipleintelligence,thereareanumberoflearningstyles.Thetypesoflearnersare:
VisualSpatial,BodilyKinesthetic,Musical,Interpersonal,Intrapersonal,Linguistic,
LogicalMathematical,andNatural.Mostteachersonlyknowhowtoteachtothe
LogicalMathematicallearners.Theselearnerslearnbyreasoningandcalculating.Theythink
conceptually,abstractlyandareabletoseeandexplorepatternsandrelationships.Theyliketo
experiment,solvepuzzles,andaskcosmicquestions.Theycanbetaughtthroughlogicgames,
investigations,andmysteries.Theyneedtolearnandformconceptsbeforetheycandealwith
details.(Gardner).Ifteachersareonlyteachingtothistypeoflearner,alltheothersfalltothe
sideanddonotreceiveequaleducation.Thesolutiontotheseproblemsisanewteachertraining
program.Aprogramthatteachesteacherstoteachtoalltypesoflearners,toteachdifferent
ways,andmakesureteachersaretrulyreadytoteachaclassroombeforetheyactuallygooutand
doit.
Whileitsnecessaryforteacherstobeeducatedonstandardsandguidelinesforteaching
amultidimensionalstudentaudience,studentsneedtotakeaccountabilityfortheirownsuccess.
Itsworthnotingthatschoolsinlowincomeareashavealowerpercentageoffundingtoeducate
studentsorimproveolderschools.Thesesamestudentsfromlowincomehomesmaybe
disincentedtoattendclass,andsomeareworkingtohelpsupporttheirfamilies.Itsalso

difficulttofindteacherswillingtoworkinschoolsthatarelocatedinneighborhoodswithhigh
crimerates.Teachersarecaringanddedicatedtothesuccessofstudents.Insomecases,teachers
haveclassessolargethattoworkwiththosethatarefailingwouldleavetheteacherlittletime
formuchelse.Othertimestheteachermayberequiredtoteachinmultiplelanguagebecausethe
classroomhasanumberofimmigrantchildreninattendance.Mandatingalawwontchangethe
culturalissueswefaceasanation.Additionalclassroomsshouldbemadeavailableandfilled
withadditionalteachers.Fundingshouldbemadeavailabletoimproveschoolroomsand
modernizethetoolsteachersneed.Havingcomputersavailableforeveryoneisonesolution,
studentsmentoringeachotherisanothersolution.Creatingabillwillnotsolvealltheseissues,
butitwillputusonthepathtosuccess.Weneed,stricterevaluationrequirementsshould
probablybecoupledwithmoreaggressiveteacherrecruitmentandretentionpolicies,(Bruno).
Thereneedstobeasystemthatworks.Weneedstatedevelopedplansdesignedtoimprove
educationaloutcomesforallstudents,closeachievementgaps,increaseequity,andimprovethe
qualityofinstruction,(DoE).Weneedtochangesomething,orourkidswillfail.Already,To
bettersupportthepreparationanddevelopmentofsuccessfulteachers,theDepartmenthasalso
proposedsettingaside25percentofTitleIIfundsunderNoChildLeftBehind(roughly$600
million)toimproveteacherandleaderrecruitment,preparation,andprofessionaldevelopment,
(DoE).Somethinghasstartedtochange,butweneedtotaketheextrasteptomakesurethis
changeworks.
Studentshavehadtherighttoaneducationformanyyears.Thisbillisnecessaryto
ensurethatthatrightismet.Inordertohelpourstudentssucceedsomethingneedstochange.
Teachertrainingneedstobereinvented.Teachersneedtobetaughttoteachtoalltypesof

learners,theyneedtobeabletoteachalessonmultipleways,andtheyneedtobethereasonour
studentsaresucceeding.Ourstudentsdeservetherighttoagoodeducation,theydeservetogoto
goodschools,andtheydeservetohavegoodteachers.

WorksCited

Weber,Karl.
Waitingfor"Superman":HowWeCansaveAmerica'sfailingPublicSchools
.New
York:PublicAffairs,2010.Print.

UniversityofAlabama."CausesofFailure."
CausesofFailure
.UniversityofAlabama,1
Jan.2015.Web.25Oct.2015.

Bruno,Paul."TheImportanceoftheTeacherSupplytoEducationReform."
TheBrookings
Institution
.Brookings,20July2015.Web.02Nov.2015.

CBIA."TheEconomicsofFailure:HowLowGraduationRatesAffectAll
ofUs."
CBIANews
.CBIA,19Oct.2010.Web.26Oct.2015.

Elkind,David."EducationalReform."
Science
244.4905(1989):63132.
Macalester
.Macalester,
1Jan.2008.Web.1Nov.2015.

Government."EducationReform."
EducationReform
.U.S.DepartmentofEducation,1Jan.
2015.Web.1Nov.2015.

Government."ReformfortheFuture."
TheWhiteHouse
.TheWhiteHouse,01Jan.2015.Web.
02Nov.2015.

Lane,Carla."Gardner'sMultipleIntelligences."
Gardner'sMultipleIntelligences
.TheDistance
LearningTechnologyResourceGuide,31Aug.2013.Web.02Nov.2015.

Rumberger,RussellW."PovertyandHighSchoolDropouts."
AmericanPsychological
Association
.AmericanPsychologicalAssociation,1May2013.Web.26Oct.2015.

Walsh,Kate."NationalCouncilonTeacherQuality."
NationalCouncilonTeacherQuality
.
NationalCouncilonTeacherQuality,1Jan.2013.Web.02Nov.2015.