Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The American School System: A Rough Road Ahead :: Exploratory Essays Research Papers

The American School System: A Rough Road Ahead There are many similarities and few differences between E.D. Hirsch’s â€Å"Why America’s Universities Are Better than Its Schools,† and Benjamin Barber’s â€Å"America Skips School.† The main purpose of both articles is to address the fact that Americans fall far behind in the scholastic accomplishment of their young students. Mutually, the two authors agree that American K-12 students learn more each day outside of the classroom than they do inside the classroom, and that the schools need serious reform. Barber focuses his attention on the financial situation of the schools, as well as the political standpoint that the government just does not care, and the American government has simply given up on its children. Hirsch tackles the idea that if our K-12 schools stay with their current level of teaching, it is only a matter of time before the institutions of higher learning will no longer be considered among the best in the world. At the present time, it seems as though America’s youth have been placed into a category for which they are no longer looked upon as a bright future for our nation as was considered in the past, as Barber has commented, â€Å"Jefferson thought schools would produce free men: we prove him right by putting dropouts in jail† (159). Children today are becoming more street-smart, and feel that there is no need for true knowledge. For example, â€Å"Knowledge is considered less desirable than more ‘practical’ all-purpose goals such as ‘higher order skills,’ ‘self-esteem,’ ‘metacognitive skills,’ and ‘critical-thinking skills† (Hirsch 144). They see it as much more important to look at what society rewards its people with, and that seems to be anything but a good academic background. In today’s culture, the people who are praised in America are the people who are able to make millions of dollars by performing music, acting in front of the camera, playing a sport, and unfortunately in some neighborhoods, selling drugs. Barber concurs that â€Å"When the society undoes each workday what the school tries to do each school day, schooling can’t make much of a difference† (157). Our students think in terms of what is going t o bring them to the peak of the success mountain in this great motherland where everyone has equal opportunity.

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