I was browsing Odyssey when I saw an article that mentioned Betsy DeVos, President Trump's nominee for secretary of education. Being a future teacher and being highly concerned about some of the comments DeVos made during her hearing, I decided to click on it. What I found was an article that contained many valid points about some of the flaws in America's education system. However, I would like to respond, as some of the points made in the article I do not quite agree with.
The author states that students in American schools are not taught anything useful. I agree that some things we learn in school are pointless to most future careers, such as the Pythagorean Theorem and Calculus. However, schools teach a lot of important skills. In middle school, I learned how to sew and cook in Family and Consumer Sciences. In high school, I learned how to balance a checkbook in Consumer Economics. Throughout my school career, I have learned how the government of the United States works, something that will benefit me as a voter. I learned about different cultures and belief systems, which has led me to, I think, become a more accepting person. I took classes on sex education and learned about the dangers of drugs. This was all in addition to learning practical skills such as math and reading that have led me to be a successful college student.
The article also states that students are not learning for the sake of learning and are thus not expanding their knowledge. While there are some students who only learn and do schoolwork to do well on tests, there is a host of others that learn and try hard in school because they are curious about the world around them and the subjects they are learning about. In addition, even if students are studying hard just to pass a test, at least they are learning something. Nothing a student learns will ever be completely forgotten.
The author complains about the prevalence of testing in the American education system. I agree with this complaint wholeheartedly. Standardized testing and scores on these tests have become the focus of too many educational administrators, while their real focus should be making sure students learn concepts. However, I disagree with the next point in which it is said that some teachers only care about test scores. When I teach, I will be teaching for the love of teaching and learning and in order to give my students a bright future.
In my opinion, the American education system is a lot better than we give it credit for, and I can't wait to be an educator.