Education is one of the most important aspects of being in the United States simply because our public schooling system is free, unlike many other countries. But what most people do not take into consideration is all of the flaws of the American education system. Yes, we are very fortunate to be able to get an education here in America but there are some things that could use improvement.
1.) Most of the time, students are not taught anything truly useful.
You would be surprised at how many young adults do not know how to balance a checkbook or even simply write a check but thank goodness they know the Pythagorean Theorem and how to balance a chemical equation. Those types of things should be saved for college classes when it is more applicable to your major or hopeful career path. Another thing most young adults do not learn about in our public education system is how taxes truly work. They may spend a short period of time learning about taxes in classes but what is supposed to happen when they are thrown out into the real world where taxes are an every day factor of our lives? The things students need the most in life are not being taught at the appropriate times they should be.
Like Tupac Shakur once said, "...school is really important. Reading, writing, arithmetic. But I think after you learn reading, writing, arithmetic, that’s it. But what they tend to is teach you reading, writing, and arithmetic then teach you reading, writing, and arithmetic again then again then again, just make it harder and harder, just to keep you busy. And that’s where I think they messed up. There should be a class on drugs. There should be a class on sex education, a real sex education class. Not just pictures and diaphragms and unlogical terms and things like that. There should be a drug class, there should be sex education, there should be a class on scams, there should be a class on religious cult, there should be a class on police brutality, there should be a class on aparthy, there should be on racism in America, there should be a class on why people are hungry, but there not, there’s class on gym, you know, physical education, let’s learn volleyball. because one day…you know…there’s classes like algebra where I’ve yet to go to a store and gone xy+2 and give me my y change back thank you. I think you can let me out, I’ve lived alone by myself. And the things that helped me were the things I learned from my mother, from the streets. Reading has helped me, I mean, schools taught me reading, which is, I love. Reading, writing and arithmetic, that’s it. Like foreign languages, I think they’re important, but I don’t think they should be required. Because…actually they should be teaching you English. And then teaching you how to understand double-talk, politician's’ double-talk. Not teaching you how to understand French, and Spanish and German. When am I going to Germany! I can’t afford rent in America. How am I going to Germany? This is what I mean by the basics aren’t the basics for me."
2.) Students cannot truly expand their learning simply because of the stresses of memorizing things for tests.
Most students only care about getting the questions right on the tests to get a good grade then they will forget about the material until they are forced to learn it yet again. This is not the student's fault because this is what the teachers are expecting them to do; get good grades, pass standardized tests, move on to the next level and so on. How do they expect students to learn things for the benefit of gaining knowledge when even teachers are only concerned about grades?
3.) Knowledge is purely based on scores and numbers these days.
Quiz scores, standardized test scores, SAT scores, ACT scores and so on. If a student does not receive a high number on a test, the teacher or institution automatically assumes that this student is not knowledgeable. A student's GPA also plays a role in this. A student might get good grades, have a high GPA score, but then do poorly on an SAT because they are not great test takers. They will then send those scores to colleges and that simple number could then make or break them. Also, most colleges do not even look at the writing section for SAT's when college is all about writing papers and essays. It just does not make any sense.
4.) Some teachers only care about making themselves look good, rather than caring about what the student has learned.
In some school systems, standardized tests are given at the end of each year to see how well the school is doing on an academic level. Some teachers will then openly admit that they want their students to do well on the tests so they do not lose their jobs. Why should a student care about these standardized test when the teacher does not even care about helping them succeed?
5.) Our education system can sometimes be seen as a competition, rather than a thirst for knowledge.
Most students only care about getting better grades than other students simply so they have a better chance at getting more opportunities such as higher ranked colleges and universities. They will sometimes do anything to get on top such as cheating or plagiarizing which proves that they do not care about the things they are learning, just the scores they receive.
Finally, high school does not prepare students for college as well as they say they do. Most students go off to college thinking everything will be easy and smooth sailing but what they do not realize is that college is one of the most difficult time periods of their lives. First, they will have to figure out how to pay for the huge college expenses, which is yet another flaw that I won't even get started on, and how to manage this financially through all the years they are there. Then they will have to learn about time management. Finally, the assignments students get in high school are nothing compared to the ones they will receive in college. Most high school teachers conditions students to write in certain ways but in reality, every professor is different and students will have to adapt to the writing styles that they prefer.
In conclusion, these are only a few of the flaws in the American education. If all students stand up for what they believe in and what they have learned, maybe one day in the future these things can be fixed. As for now, I hope that teachers and school systems take these things into consideration as time goes on.