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What education currently is at in America

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Two words: Multiple choice.

  • Dec 18, 2008
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Education in America is a complicated issue that divides people on both sides of the political spectrum.

After having traveled around quite a bit, I can say that the amount of geographic knowledge that most Americans hold is next to zero. It's almost a bit embarrassing, to be honest. Once, just before boarding a plane to Tunisia, someone asked my nationality. When I replied that I'm American, he said "Oh. I didn't know people from your country go to Africa, let alone know where it even is."

Even more controversial is multiple choice. On one hand, it allows you to have a fair shot at getting an answer right because it may help you recognize an answer that you might not have known you actually knew. On the other hand, if you're like me and over-think every question, then you're bound to agonize over each answer choice and a scenario in which it may be accurate! You may be shocked to learn this, but multiple choice does not really exist anywhere except in the United States. In fact, many countries just have essays, fill-in-the-blank, and oral exams. Does this mean more people fail, or that more people are actually forced to learn a concrete response? I don't know, but it certainly shows that standards are a little tougher elsewhere.

The problem of education in America is not just at the level of young students. The extent of its issues spreads in all directions. For example, the vast majority of State Department employees and officials did not know the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims before the Iraq War was launched. Months later, when the country was embroiled in sectarian violence, they realized the importance of knowledge beyond simple arms and munitions.

Finally, the issue of the No Child Left Behind Act needs to be resolved quickly. The idea that you should fund schools based on test scores and students' grades is severely flawed, considering that in many states, school funding comes from property tax revenues. Richer areas pay out more money in property taxes, and that money goes to schools where it funds newer books and materials for the classroom. Poorer schools are often in poorer areas, and are likely to not score as well as richer schools. So what's our answer? Well, the Act says we should punish them by taking away their funding.

In any case, as I stated before, this is a very controversial and complex issue that would probably be best if broken down into smaller data points (No Child Left Behind Act, Multiple Choice Exams, etc). In my opinion, American education is excellent in that anyone has the chance, if they can overcome economic and social barriers, to shoot up the ladder and into a good university and to cross economic and social classes. In America, we don't have vestiges of caste systems that many other countries have. But nonetheless, we still have a lot of issues that need resolving if we want to advance into the 21st century in a competitive manner.

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review by . December 18, 2008
I really feel like there's so much going on revolving around education right now - both good and bad. It's really sad when I see on the news that teachers don't have enough money for PAPER, and have to start "advertising" on the bottom of the sheet to get money so they can print material for the class. And honestly, when people on Wall street are making a bajillion dollars by being greedy and hording money away from the rest of America... why is it that TEACHERS, who probably have one of the toughest …
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Ali ()
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Member Since: Dec 8, 2008
Last Login: Jun 8, 2012 04:51 AM UTC
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