In Public Schools

from the "outside" looking "in"


Posted by Admin On October - 9 - 2009

solutions Solutions to Problems In the United States Educational System

No system is perfect.  Unfortunately, the United States educational system is far from it.  One of the biggest problems today is the huge focus on test scores and grades.  Policy makers are obsessed with getting the US at the top of international test rankings.  The preoccupation of achieving high test scores has been placed under a different name: “student achievement.”  Educators are always talking about increasing levels of student achievement, but all they mean is they are pursuing higher test scores.

While tests in reasonable levels of application have serious merit in determining student’s efforts in learning material, when the idea is abused as it has been in the system, it becomes counterproductive.  IQ, test results and grades are not predictors of economic or life success.  Despite our obsession with getting higher rankings on international test scores, the average national math and science test scores were completed unrelated to a country’s economic growth from 1980 to 2000.  What, then, is the solution to this debilitating weakness in the educational system of the US?

To renounce the unbearable focus on testing and turn our attention to developing the skills that parents and employers are looking for would bring new life into the United States educational system.  To reach superfluous testing goals, the content children are being taught is dumbed-down so they can learn a smaller amount of information more quickly.  Successful people have skills that cannot be graded on a test, like teamwork, independence, love of worthwhile pursuits, confidence, initiative, creativity and risk-taking.  Of course, fundamentals must be tested to develop math, English and science skills.  But the most important factors that determine high-quality people and success in life need the larger focus in schools’ curriculums.  Standardized tests are completely trivial in determining the success of individuals and countries as a whole.  It is a frightening fact to consider that the county’s system has an irrefutable focus is on something that has little merit.

One of the best ways we can come to a successful turnaround in our backwards system is to look at other countries that are turning out the brightest minds in the world.  One such country is Finland.  While it is not the only factor contributing to their system’s success, they have little or no testing of the kind we do.  A country’s educational system should not be about proving high scores to the rest of the world, but cultivating young tender minds into the next best thinkers and leaders of the world.  To assist in cultivating these minds parents might find the information provided below helpful.









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