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The Proposal of School Choice

In the video below, President Donald Trump unveiled a brand new education proposal called school choice, while campaigning to be president. Now that he has won the election, President Trump plans to enact this proposal as soon as possible.  What school choice would entail, is the expansion of charter, private, magnet, and public school options for low income children throughout the United States, nearly costing $20 billion. While President Trump realizes this is a huge amount of federal dollars to be spending, he believes that it would be quite beneficial to those who have unfair disadvantages in what school they have to attend, specifically minority students. Each child living in poverty would have the choose as to where they want to attend school and what kind of school they would like to attend, with the help from their parents. However, who is considered low income and at what point will the government begin to cut students off? Although I realize this is a great idea in theory, I am having a hard time wrapping my own mind around how this proposal will actually happen.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/donald-trump-school-choice-proposal-227915

 

My Growth as a Blogger

Honestly, when I found out about this assignment I was extremely nervous. I had never had my own blog where people could view what I had written about and how they were able to critique anything I had said.

Upon learning about this assignment, I immediately knew I wanted to write about what was happening within United States public education. As a product of the public education system myself, I wanted to learn more about the large issues at hand and see how it could be improved.  Before I started the assignment, I decided to set goals for myself in what I wanted to learn throughout researching this topic. I specifically wanted to learn about the in depth issues that were causing public education to decline, how those issues could be improved, and what other schooling options there are for students. I also set my own educational goals of becoming a better writer and becoming more informed on current issues happening within the nation.

While I did enjoy completing the task at hand most of the time, there were some times that I thought the blog was somewhat daunting. The task that was the most daunting to me was the amount of research I had to compete about what improvements were going to be beneficial if implemented within the school system. I struggled with this specific task because at first I wasn’t completely sure which improvements would help public education out of the funk it was currently in. However, I finally found two improvements that I strongly believe will help students and teachers become better within the public education system (refer to theory post). With that said, I am most proud of all of the research that I was able to find on the concerns of the United States public education system. I also was proud of the suggested improvements I discussed throughout the blog and why I thought they would be the most beneficial to better the system as a whole.

Surprisingly enough, I actually I enjoyed having my peers read and comment on my blog posts. I thought they gave great feedback that helped me think more critically about what I was writing about. They also gave great suggestions on other topics within my field that I could write about. In the end, I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing about a topic that I am extremely passionate about. Hopefully within the next few years the United States public school system will drastically improve.

 

A Must Read

HI fellow blog readers!! I just found a must read blog and highly suggest going to check it out! A post that I found particularly interesting, surrounded the topic of President Trump’s idea of school choice.  It is a great post that thoroughly describes what school choice is and what it entails. The overall blog talks about education and specifically focuses on student disengagement. I found this blog to be similar to mine, yet different it its own way!

The Funding Fight: Public Schools vs. Charter Schools

The cartoon above represents a charter school taking away government funding, meant for public schools. The charter school takes the money and uses it to fund their own schools. It also shows how the money dedicated for U.S. public education is starting to dwindle away. A charter school is defined as a publically funded independent school established by teachers, parents, or community groups under the terms of a charter, with either a local or national authority. The differences between charter schools and public schools are that one chooses to attend a charter school and that they have more freedom in regulations, but still have to show high performance in their test results. Charter schools have become popular over the past several years due to their ability to experiment in their curriculum that they teach. I believe that public schools serve the same purpose as charter schools and can produce equally good results.

Where Has The Public Education System Gone?

Thinking about the future without a public education system in the United States is an extremely scary thought. I cannot imagine this nation not providing our communities with free, quality education. These schools are where the majority of society will learn important information and where they will grow into their own self. By not providing communities with a good public education, members will be more likely to be unemployed, be involved with crime, and not give back to their own community.

While I would hope that the government would be willing to help fund improvements within the system, I know there is a chance they will not find it worth it. Because of this, there is quite the potential that over the next few years, the public education system will not improve their teacher training and will not raise teacher’s salaries. There are several implications that will occur if these improvements are not implemented. Because most teachers are inaccurately trained, they are currently not providing students with the best knowledge and in turn, leaving public schools to go to another school where they will be provided with better education, such as, private, charter, or home schools. The implication of not increasing teacher’s pay will strictly lead to no motivation within the classroom. This lack of motivation will start with the teachers but then will evolve to the students where they will have no motivation to do well in school or possibly to even complete school.

If these improvements are not implemented somewhat soon, the United States public education system is going to increasingly worsen and begin to hurt teachers, students, and communities throughout the nation.

A Better Public Education for All

There are several ways in which the public education system can be improved to better the overall quality. After doing an immense amount of research, I believe that the best ways to end polarization within the United States public education system are to implement a training program that properly instructs teachers on how to provide students with valuable knowledge and to increase the amount teachers get paid during the school year. In an article from the Miami Herald, the author, a retired public school teacher, explains how much students benefit in academic achievement when provided with high quality teachers. Another article from the National Education Association explains why teachers working for the public education system should have an increase in salary and why the public agrees. It explains that in order to retain and attract teachers for the future, the education system must increase pay to be competitive with other jobs. Educators are the people who are providing students with knowledge and are preparing them for the future- an extremely critical task for someone to be doing.

Because teacher’s are so responsible for someone else’s future, they should be provided with the best training and with an increase in salary. They deserve to be treated better than how they are now. Both of these improvements should be implemented to help make the United States public education system a system in which the people of our nation would be proud to attend.

 

A Suggested Read

Bored and need something interesting to read? If so, check out this awesome blog about education! As a fellow blogger on education, I was fascinated to read these posts and to see how much our two blogs had in common. Not only does this blog provide information on public schools, they also talk about private schools and schools within France. I highly recommend taking time to read some of their posts!

An in Depth Look into United States Public Education

The United States public education system is ranked 7th in the world, a surprising statistic reported on by the US News. Public education is defined as schools that are maintained at a public expense for the education of the children of a community or a district that implements free tuition. In order to be competitive with other countries, the system must implement some drastic improvements. The state of North Carolina, for example, is specifically struggling to maintain high quality elementary and secondary schools. Considered “one of the worst states in the country when it comes to public education,” North Carolina is ranked 24th in terms of their quality of education and 41st in teacher salary. There is not enough money being given to each school and parents are not supporting them. Parents and children are deciding to switch to other schooling options, such as private, charter, or home schools. What most do not realize, though, is that attending schools through the public education system is quite beneficial for the majority of the citizens and their communities, socially and economically. While there are some faults with the overall public education system, it is the best choice when deciding what kind of school to attend.

Public education has given me some of the best memories and opportunities that I have ever received. Throughout my time at these schools I was able to gain new perspective and knowledge, become involved in many clubs, met some of my best friends, attend several field trips, and most importantly become the person I am today. These are just a few of the reasons as to why I am such a strong supporter of United States public education. In fall 2016, approximately 50.4 of American students were enrolled in the public education system. This huge statistic implies how important it is to have quality public schools for American citizens because of how many people are attending these schools. I believe that there are several benefits when choosing to attend public schools. Some of these benefits are being prepared for the real world, exposing children to diversity at a young age, and leading children towards success in their future.  According to the Center of Public Education, the public school systems within the United States bring students and teachers together to promote common values and to teach a common culture. These schools allow anyone to attend no matter what their background is. There is no discrimination in race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and social class. Public schools are also required to accommodate anyone with special needs, unlike private schools who may choose who is allowed to attend their schools. Each public school system within the United States is held to the highest standards in terms of academic achievement. Their goal for students is to gain as much knowledge as possible and receive the best education from top level teachers. Other benefits of public education are shown on the Education Bug website. It includes, a variety of extracurricular activities, free transportation, and free tuition. Most importantly, public education is a symbol in uniting the people of the United States. It is a significant factor in showing the nation’s democratic way of life. Not only is public education great for our overall nation, it is also great in bringing a community together. Exceptional public schools can produce a united community through higher education and jobs with local stores and companies. And by providing a community with a good public education, the members are more likely to be employed, stay out of crime, and give back to the community.

However, the United States public education system is not considered perfect by any means. There are several factors that are playing a large role in the dwindling of the public education system. The outcome of these problems is giving the United States educational system an embarrassing image. Some of the problems that exist are poverty, overcrowded schools, a lack of diversity within gifted students, stagnant funding, unmotivated teachers within their classrooms, and unprepared graduates. In an article by The Washington Post, the author explains how the Southern Education study has shown that the most prominent problem with the nation’s public education system is poverty. When a school is mostly made up of students who live in poverty, more than likely the school is also going to be poor as well. This is because there is no help with funding besides the little that is coming from the state. Similarly, North Carolina is also struggling when it comes to having a high quality public education system. When looking at any type of poll or study done on North Carolina, the state is usually ranked near the bottom in education, such as being 41st in the nation in teacher salary. According to Public Schools First NC, some of the complications that are happening within this state are low salaries for teachers, barely any funding for classroom resources, and inadequate training of teachers. The North Carolina Public School website states that the state is in the process of implementing a plan of improvement and will be put in place soon by the State Board of Education. The plan consists of establishing an understanding of a school’s current state, including student achievement, parent community, and school environment. The State Board of Education then will reach a decision on what improvement will take priority and implement it from there. In terms of improving the overall public education system, the United States government can help by investing in training for good, passionate teachers, decreasing class sizes, letting kids learn at their own pace, getting families involved in the school early, and addressing the issue of poverty within schools.

Due to the decrease in reputation of quality public schools across the nation, students and their parents are beginning to look into other options. These options include private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling. Over 5.2 million children are enrolled in private school, 2.5 million children are enrolled in charter schools, and 1.3 children are enrolled in homeschooling.  While these statistics are no where near how many children are enrolled in public school, it is still significant percentages for how many children are not attending public schools. People are choosing these schools over public schools because they believe they will provide a better education for students and are better working environments for students. In a Cato Institute article, the author argues that attending a private school is a better decision over attending a public school. He believes that they are the better option because they allow the students more freedom in the classroom and more equality between the students.  The biggest difference between public and private schools is the fact that public education is tuition free and funded by the government and taxes, while private schools include paying a significant amount in tuition. On the other hand, public schools and charter schools are more similar in that sense in that they are both funded by the government and are not allowed to discriminate against students. Home schooling also includes free tuition, besides paying for books and other useful materials. People in favor of home school believe that students are in a safer environment and are able to focus more on their work, yet people in favor of public schooling also argue the same thing can occur within their schools. Public, private, charter, and home schools also vary in class size, curriculum, and the number of teachers. In most cases, each type of school can both produce successful students who are ready and prepared for the real world. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what kind of school the student attends, but how great the student’s work ethic is. In relation to private schooling, president Trump has been extremely outspoken in wanting to implement a school choice initiative. This allows disadvantaged youth to either attend a public, private, magnet, religious, charter, or home school. However, I think this initiative would cause a great amount of chaos and controversy within the education system when determining whether or not one is considered disadvantaged. This could cause unfair circumstances for some students.

Attending public schools in the United States is beneficial, socially and economically for both parents and students. One of the main points in attending school is to gain knowledge and to be prepared with skills that one will need in attending a higher level of education or when securing a job. The benefits are shown through a study written by an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University. The social benefits can be shown by improving one’s ability to make accurate decisions, in gathering information, and considering consequences. These social benefits coincide with economic benefits as well. The number of people who are properly educated can help improve the economy. People who are more educated are less likely to commit a crime, have a better quality of health, and are more likely to receive a job. This in turn saves the government from spending more funds on avoidable items such as welfare, prisons, and unemployment. Some of the other economic benefits that come with attending public schools are improved employment chances, free tuition, and increased tax revenue.

Overall, the United States public education system can be extremely beneficial to people, socially and economically. Public schools are also beneficial for the community that surrounds them in terms of increasing jobs and funding within them. Although the school systems have faults within them, they could easily be improved with the help of the government and their communities. I strongly support the public education system and am so thankful for how it shaped me into the person that I am today.

 

A couple of things that make me smile :)

I am so thankful that I attended public schools throughout my childhood. I have so many fond memories of going on field trips with my mom, eating lunch with my friends, being apart of clubs, and taking part in so many fun activities throughout my time in my elementary, middle, and high school. Even when I was stressed with tests and projects, I still thoroughly enjoyed the environment that surrounded me each day and would not trade it for the world. Attending each one of those schools helped mold me into the person I am today and for that I am eternally grateful for. Below is one of my favorite videos that I have ever watched on The Ellen Show. It is of this sassy seven-year-old boy, named Elias who truly embodies happiness, which is what I gained from being around such great people while attending public schools. While Elias is extremely funny to listen to, he is also a piano prodigy who has already played at Carnegie Hall. The video will definitely put a smile on your face and make you laugh!

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