Decline of Education System in America


Any nation with a formal education system wants to make sure that its citizens are well-informed and have their intellect awakened. A good educational system makes sure that everyone is brought down to the same secure, standardized level. It appears, though, that the American educational system has fallen short of its goals. There are various metrics available for evaluating the effectiveness of the American educational system. (Rockwell 1). The performance indices of various subjects are among the parameters. For instance, in the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, it has been reported that high school seniors have not shown any improvement in math and reading since the year 2009. Worthy investments have been made in education system including creative reforms with little to show for it (Ravitch 1). Several reasons have been attributed to the decline in the education system in America. In this paper, reasons for the decline in the education system in America will be argued out.

Inadequacy in Parents Involvement

Education is all inclusive and all players are stakeholders including parents. Interestingly, parents are not involved enough in the education sector and this remains the most frustrating aspect of the education system in America (Ravitch 7). The time that is spent in the classroom is not adequate enough to teach and impart all knowledge to every student on the things that they need to know. There is a need for some kind of interaction with the students outside the normal school hours. Students at socio-economic disadvantage usually struggle in school, especially when parents do not have higher levels of education. This does not imply that students who are from middle and upper class are better off, in fact, they are at nearly same level. The increasing demands of careers and the over-dependence on schools put all the students at risk given that parental involvement is way too low.

High Rate of School Closures

Most schools are closing and this happens even without members of communities asserting the reasons for closure. The numbers of students have had a major impact on the closure of most schools. Instead of schools closing, most individuals need to consider putting in place neighborhood uses like a community center or turning them into adult classes. Closure of schools affect the education system in many ways and it needs not be a short-sighted process. The decision to close schools should mainly be pegged on quality education for all the learners.

Overcrowding Nature of Schools

The number of students in a class matter so much, especially when the tutors look forward to providing quality education. Having a smaller class translates to a better individual student experience. A study carried out by National Center for Education Statistics found out that 14 percent of schools in America had more than the required capacity in class. Having an overcrowded class makes it even difficult for students to pay attention hence making it difficult for them to succeed. Learning increasingly becomes difficult hence the efficacy and teaching levels of the tutors fall below the mandated levels (Rockwell 1).

Overuse of Technology

As much as technology has many benefits for the learner and the teacher alike, the downfalls have been present as well. Ignoring the opportunities presented by technology only means that learners are put at disadvantage. Nonetheless, the screen culture that is adopted in the education system has continued to present problems to the teachers. Education to some extent has been equated to entertainment. Students are presented with educational games for the best reasons but they turn the whole concept into entertainment. Nonetheless, the grasp of technological content for students varies. This means that teachers are increasingly finding it difficult to impart knowledge using some of the technological gadgets given to them.

Lack of Diversity

For the bright and most advanced students, they are known to be talented and gifted. Notably, right from the elementary levels, the TAG programs differentiate the students' peers because of individualized learning programs. Even though the ideology is well-accepted, the practice is one-directional approach and remains unattractive in regards to the American public schools. The district schools need to find the different ways of recognizing different types of learning talent and see beyond the normally gifted student model. The effort put to make the talented and gifted programs be better is a reflection of the increasingly evolving student body. However, changes occur on smaller scales in schools and the TAG programs. Therefore, progress has to begin by comprehending the makeup of a given student body and include some of the innovative ways to have all students taking part in the TAG learning initiatives.

Stagnant School Expenditures

Even though it has been acknowledged that the American economy is realizing growth, the spending in the education system is still low with the K-12 public school spending remaining all-time low. One of the reports that were released by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that 34 states are contributing minimally in regards to the students' basis as compared to the recession period. Given that the states are in charge of 44 percent of the education funding in America, having this low numbers only translates to dismal budgetary allocation even though the economy is improving. If the government cannot improve on funding the public schools then it is obvious that achievement gap will not close and the high school graduation rates will continue to rise. Given that the U.S economy is witnessing an improvement, there is need to have better funding for the K-12 students as compared to earlier years. In fact, with little or no improved spending, the education system will continue to decline.

Lack of Teacher Education Motivation

There are several changes that are taking place in the classroom. One of such changes is the needs of the students. This means that if students are changing then teachers also need to change. In fact, there have not been major changes made in regards to modification of teacher education to help in meeting the specific demands of the students. There is policy and practice changes that are taking place globally and most of them are teacher-driven as they help in addressing the cultural shifts that happen in the classroom. The public education in America is need of teachers who are properly trained to ensure that the needs of specific students are met and comprehend the role of distance learning and are ready for classroom changes. Interestingly, this has not been the case for a long time. This implies that without the particular types of teachers mentioned, meeting the global demand is not easy.

Wrong Reform Approach

One of the great mistakes that individuals make is imposing reforms using a top-down approach (Ravitch 5). The Department of Education remains one of the departments with a lot of bureaucracy. The department has been releasing several studies and position papers that serve no meaningful purpose other than for some political gains (Ravitch 3).

Teaching Becoming Unattractive

One of the reasons for the decline in the education system in America is that teaching has become very unattractive. The teachers are obviously discouraged by the low salaries as compared to the education that they require and at no point does it get competitive. The education system that is in place also progressively frustrate teachers owing to the constraints. Some of the frustrations arise from the mandatory administrative exams that are required by the school districts, states, and the federal bureaucracies. This load together with having a weak pay discourage even some of the best students to consider teaching as a good and meaningful profession.

Lack of Co-curricular Skills Appreciation

In the U.S, the number of students who have been lost in the school-to-prison pipeline is quite substantial. According to Rockwell (1), over half of students who attend the urban high schools do not earn a diploma. Out of this number, nearly 60 percent will end up in prison at a certain point. Most of these students who are affected are not gifted academically but have talents that if harnessed can be quite productive. The system need to offer alternatives and some of them have to include co-curricular activities and learning. For instance, students need to be exposed to music, art, and craft as an alternative rather than having one approach of book work all the time.

Rising Cost of Education

The cost of education has risen despite the deterioration of education. The subsidies for a college education is nearly 12 times in 2015 as compared to what it was 20 years ago. This is even much higher than the personal consumption over the same period (Rockwell 1). Owing to the rise in education costs, there has been a decline in most of the schools cannot meet the needs of students. Some of the materials required for learning cannot be acquired as the students get stretched to contribute to the school's expenditures. Some of them are reluctant to be part of the contributions (Rockwell 1).


It is obvious that the education system was designed to help meet the various needs of the country. However, there are changes that have taken place since then and most of the changes are in regards to the current global economic climate. Lack of the education system to change due to the changes witnessed has increasingly led to the problems that are witnessed in the education system today. Most of the reasons that have been linked to declining in the education system touch on the main stakeholders in the system. The principle stakeholders, in this case, include the students or learners, the teachers, and parents. Some of the problems that have seen the decline in the education system include lack of diversity in classroom, inadequate or lack of teacher motivation, inadequate parental involvement, overuse of technology, and high rate of technology use and involvement. These issues are a stack and addressing them is of great help as they help in improving the education system, otherwise, the decline will continue to be witnessed in most schools and the country in general.

Works Cited

Ravitch, Diane. National standards in American education: A citizen's guide. Brookings Institution Press, 2011. Retrieved from on 27/07/2017.

Ravitch, Diane. The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. Basic Books, 2016. Retrieved from on 27/04/2017.

Rockwell, Jonathan. The declining productivity of education. Social Mobility Memos, 2016. Retrieved from on 27/04/2017.

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