Thursday, March 28, 2013

Should the Federal Government Have Their Nose in Local Schools?

The No Child Left Behind Act, passed by the Federal Government, is a bad idea. This sounds good, but it is bad. It has brought plenty of trouble to those who teach. The government has set too many rules and regulations. These rules and regulations require great amounts of paperwork. Too much paperwork distracts from teachers being able to actually teach. There are too many tests. Teachers have to teach to the test instead of teaching basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. The federal government does not need to make blanket requirements. There is so much pressure in these tests that children are fearful that they will fail. They think that if they fail, they won't have any future.
We need to return to the basics. Teach children to read and make sure they accomplish this before moving on. Teach basic math, not always trying to bring in "new math."
It is not necessary to teach social issues in school. Attempting to teach social issues in school is faulty because there is no morality base any longer from which to teach. Instead, they should teach the basic truths of education that served our country for so long. The proper social issues stem from the teachings of the Church or religious institution. Unfortunately, our country has turned from such foundations and removed them from schools and our society is paying the price.
Bilingual education is not necessary. Just teach students English. It will benefit the children in the long run if they know English. When one must teach bilingually, each student loses part of what is taught because the teacher uses half the time teaching in one language and half in another. Students have so much homework because the teachers can't take the time to teach it thoroughly in class. Then, many suffer because they can't understand it on their own. Teachers should make sure the students know English before advancing them to other studies. We are in the United States of America and English is still the language. Perhaps students would not suffer from grammar problems if teachers were given the time to emphasize its importance.
Then there is the issue of financial responsibility in education. Having more money and putting an iPad in the hands of every student will not inspire good education. Too much money is thrown at education and too much ends up in the hands of the administration instead of the classroom. Allow States and local governments to make local reforms that are best, and chose how to utilize their local funds. The current economic climate should show the federal government to keep hands off of local decisions. It makes me glad to be homeschooled. Dr. Benjamin Carson is a fine example of a minority student who came from a single-parent home, who achieved great success as a renowned neurosurgeon. He credits his mother with “making him read.” Our society tends to blame others if they do not succeed and we have lost the “can-do” American spirit. Winners take resposibility; losers blame others. May we return to the America in which each citizen takes personal responsibility for behavior and success.


Amanda Polvado said...

"Should the Federal Government Have Their Nose in Local Schools"? posted by Amanda Griffin

In reply to your post.

I agree with some of your opinions you mentioned such as " too many rules and regulations", " too much paper work", and "[having to many] tests". How ever, being in the teaching profession i highly disagree with many of your other points.

1.) It is not necessary to teach social issues in school- why not? Yes, some social issues should not be talked about in certain situations but, what about important issues that must be discussed? Such as 911, should we not talk about that? Should we avoid it? 911 was one of the most contraversial problems we faced, we shouldn't avoid it, teachers should be able to talk about it. Most teachers who teach in middle school and high school relate social problems in todays society, to the ones we faced in history. Relating todays society to history helps students grasp the concepts more. Not only is it a good idea to teach social problems (in most cases), it's also beneficial to the students.

2.) Bilingual education is not necessary- I believe it could be. The U.S is very diverse, which includes speaking different languages. Not everyone can speak english right away. Yes, they should be taught english (since we mainly speak english)but, that doesn't mean they should lose the opportunity of having bilingual education. In most cases people tend to pick up language fairly slowly. Bilingual education provides an opportunity for those who can't speak english, or those who aren't picking it up fast enough a chance to learn what other students are learning and not get behind. Bilingual education is very useful.

3.) Putting an iPad in the hands of every student will not inspire good education- But, it could be beneficial. Yes, teachers should teach children traditionally. However, using an iPad can be useful to. An iPad can be used for various reasons. There are many educational games children can play that offer education and serve a purpose. Also, each child is different. Some children learn better on things they can visualize (iPad). Being able to visualize while learning helps students grasp what they're learning better. They might be costly, but the benefits out way the con's of the cost. iPad's are a great alternative to traditional teaching when it comes to certain lesson plans.

Overall i believe the government should be allowed in local schools, they can add benefits and help the school systems improve.

Steph W. said...

The No Child Left Behind Act was an attempt at making schools and educators more “accountable” for student improvement throughout the school year and as an aid to what the government considers disadvantaged children. All that it ended up accomplishing was an amplified amount of pressure for schools to benchmark to ensure their survival and that pressure trickled down to the students. I agree that the act resulted in ridiculous school environments, having begun with good intention. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Teachers being allowed to teach the fundamentals and even create a more challenging curriculum should be priority. If the kids can pass the curriculum, then by logic be able to pass the annual standardized exams. Instead anxiety, stress of being able to meet the expectations and keep their school afloat is the curriculum of the day.
No bilingual education? I agree that our young ones lack a firm grasp of the English language as a whole. It is evident in social media postings, and the same standardized testing that was meant to reflect improvement. I do not advocate for a one specific language or another, but recent studies in neuroscience reveal that bilingualism actually improves cognitive function. Studies as recent as March 2012 are revealing bilingual activity actually improves cognitive function, and not only in language skills alone. It improves the brain’s executive functioning, or our command system that directs our attention processes for planning, solving, and preforming mentally demanding tasks. Research is also reflecting a potential to delay dementia. Aside from the cognitive improvements, it allows exposure to other cultures not otherwise introduced at home or perhaps only reflected to the student through methods such as TV or social media. The U.S. need not acknowledge our home field language of English, but dismissing the benefits of bilingualism need not be abolished as well.
I opted for alternative learning with my own offspring because I did not feel that the current established curriculum and expectations from the public school districts were sufficient for the skills that they will need when it is time for them to burst into the adult world. The blog is very matter of fact and has a good flow from one point to another. Citing case studies or introducing specific solutions as an alternative to improve the situation would have lent to a more solid argument.