Over the years, various education experts have measured the quality of the education system in the United States. And the findings are disappointing. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released student rankings in reading, math, and science. The scores revealed that the United States is far from being at the top. The United States had an average drop of 11 points in math. And this made it number 35. It scored slightly higher in science and reading.
For decades, people have been thinking of the best ways to improve the education system in the United States. However, it’s a complicated process with high stakes. To help college students learn better, here are five education reforms ideas that lawmakers and other top government officials should focus on to simplify the learning process.
1. Address the issue of overcrowding
A research study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics found that more than 13 percent of learning institutions in the United States exceed their capacity. This is a major problem, especially for minority and low-income students. An overcrowded classroom is less effective for the following reasons:
- Teachers are overworked
- Learners don’t get the attention they need to excel
- Learners lose interest in learning thus leading to dropouts
- Both tutors and learners feel stressed and overwhelmed
Lawmakers can solve this problem by coming up with master plans that don’t tolerate overcrowding in an education center. This process has to be done regularly because housing developments can lead to shifts in the capacities of learning institutions. Dedicated policymakers can easily fix this problem because it is not a new issue. A study conducted in the 1990s in New York found that overcrowding led to poor performance, especially for low-income and minority students.
The findings also showed that tutors and students feel tired and overwhelmed by the problem of overcrowding in learning institutions. Further, teachers working in an overcrowded environment often complain about a lack of adequate resources or learning institutions are not in the best shape. A lack of space has forced them to teach students in different areas such as gyms. And this has led to stress and poor performance among tutors and students.
2. Raise teachers’ standards
Various studies have linked underqualified tutors to poor student performance. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest areas for lawmakers to have an impact on the education sector. They need to know the current teachers’ standards and think of ways to improve them so that they can positively affect student performance. When university tutors encourage campus students to order essay cheap, they’ll have more time to handle their issues while improving essay writing skills of a college student. Cheap essay writing and coursework is the way to go to get a good grade, and earn a diploma. The National Education Organization reports that the government should be more involved in the licensing and evaluation of teachers for them to be prepared to go to class.
3. Prioritize school funding
The stats around education funding in the United States are astonishing:
- States contribute an average of 44 percent in the United States toward education
- A report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that 34 states have reduced per-student funding. Today, it’s less than it was during the recession years.
- Local school districts have done away with 297000 teaching jobs from 2008 to 2016.
The problem isn’t a matter of states or the federal government struggling to generate revenues. It’s all about priorities. Many states in the United States spend more money housing an inmate than educating the average student.
Policymakers can make school reforms and address the issue of school funding by:
- Creating a progressive tax code system – By taxing huge corporations and wealthy citizens accordingly, both federal and local governments can easily afford to improve the education system. As more students continue to join college, the demand for such a change is gradually growing.
- Focus on the prize – Investing in education pays off in spades. A study conducted by economists back in 2008 found that investing in education has a huge effect on the economic health of a country because it increases the gross domestic product.
- Increase tutor support – Lawmakers should not only help in funding learning institutions but also increase tutor support, especially in remote or low-income areas. Since most teachers choose to work in urban areas due to better working conditions, the quality of education in remote areas can go down drastically. If school officials and lawmakers work together, they will attract and retain the best tutors. And they will help students achieve their goals in the long run.
4. Solve the school-to-prison issue
Here are some disturbing stats:
- Nearly half of African American male students attending schools in urban areas don’t earn an education certificate
- Close to 60 percent of these dropouts end up in prison
The school-to-prison problem is a complex one. And one of the contributing factors includes suspensions that mainly involve African American students, zero-tolerance policies, and in-school arrests. Since the patterns have been noted, policymakers can take action by looking at restorative justice and keeping students away from this system.
- Restorative justice – Lawmakers should come up with alternative methods of disciplining students instead of detaining or suspending them. Reducing the number of expulsions in university is one of the best ways to resolve conflicts and reduce crime.
- Build a community – When schools focus on measuring their success based on overall student performance, those who get poor grades are likely to be forced out. The curriculum and learning institutions should focus on the individual success of students Understanding the needs of students will help in creating a conducive environment for learning.
Every human being has potential. However, this potential cannot be fully realized and utilized if quality education is not accessible. Education is a right. And all governments need to make quality education a top priority. Lawmakers and other top government officials can make simple changes to simplify the learning process and improve student performance. Reforming the education system means more opportunities and a better life.