The education system in United States of America

The United States of America's Educational System

The United States of America's educational system has developed over the years with little noticeable impact on the nation's rapidly shifting social landscape. In order to satisfy the increasing social and economic demands of the industrial revolution, formal education systems were developed. But as society developed, the system lost its relevance, leading to the establishment of various school systems. However, there are still issues and disputes with the American educational system. This essay aims to examine the issues and debates regarding the formerly outstanding educational system.

Issues with the American Educational System

A issue is something that needs to be addressed and solved right away. There are two problems that need to be discussed. First is the issue of overcrowding in public schools where the ratio of teacher to students per classroom is very high. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (n.d), fourteen (14) percent of schools in the United States exceed the estimated capacity of pupils per classroom. The second problem is the lack of parental involvement in school work. In this day and age, teachers are left with the daunting task of taking care of students all the time since parents are too involved in their professions.

Controversies in the American Educational System

A controversy involves a lot of arguments concerning a specific issue that affects several people, in this case it is the education system. One debatable issue is the use of corporal punishments in public schools. There is no federal law against exertion of physical discipline on students however several states have established laws against the practice. Some view corporal punishments as abusive and traumatic while others consider it the best way of dealing with errant behavior. Another contentious subject is online education which is more prevalent in college education. On one hand it is seen as a technological way of extending education beyond the class while on the other hand it is considered a hindrance to exposure to diversity and personal contact between individuals.

Religion in Public Schools

One contemporary controversial subject is religion in public schools especially the narration of prayers. The issue arises from the argument on the separation between religion and law or rather church and state. The First Amendment of the U.S Constitution provides for the freedom to religion and that the government shall not enforce a specific religion on the American people. Proponents of the topic contend that every person is entitled to the belief and religion of their choice thus should not be forced to practice a specific ideology. Further they argue that prayers in school violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which forbids the government from sanctioning a specific religion (Center for Public Education, 2006). The opposers on the other hand, maintain that the Free Exercise Clause prohibits the government from interfering with one’s religious practices and beliefs (Center for Public Education, 2006).

The Case of Engel v Vitale 1960

In the case of Engel v Vitale 1960, the State Board of Regents of New York introduced a prayer that was to be recited aloud in each class in public schools before commencement of studies. Several parents sued and both the New York Court of Appeals and the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the prayer on the argument of Free Exercise Clause as long as it was recited voluntarily (Janz, 1962).


The problem of overcrowding in schools in very pertinent and should be solved in haste as it has dire effect on the progression of the education system in America. It is therefore important for professionals to discuss the way forward. As an educational leader, I believe that the students should be allowed to decide if they want to have prayers in school or not.


Center for Public Education. (2006). Religion and public schools. Retrieved from influence-on-public-school-districts-An-overview/Religion-and-Public-Schools.html

Janz, F. J. (1962, Fall). Church and state: Prayer in public schools. Marquette Law Review, 46(2), 233-237. Retrieved from

National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d). Condition of America’s public school facilities: Overcrowding. Retrieved from

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