The real problem in education

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A 2012 study conducted

The first problem with the United States education system is fairly simple: respect. Our teachers get no respect when compared to those in countries like Finland, which ranked 1st overall on the PISA exams. In the U.S., teachers do not get paid nearly as much as they should, and the job itself is socially perceived as low-level work. If teachers were to receive the same level of pay that other professionals do, then there would be far more competition for jobs at all levels and more respect given to the profession.

The next major problem with our education system is funding. Our school, one of the best in New York City, is currently dealing with a scheduling crisis that ultimately stems from budget cuts. If we were to allocate the same amount of money to education as Finland does, we would be at the top of the field. Finland spends about 6.8% of their GDP on education while the United States spends only 5.4%. While this may not seem like a big deal, 1.4% of $15.66 trillion is quite a bit of spare change. How about pumping some money into education to pay teachers what they deserve, and perhaps lending me a copy of A Tale of Two Cities that wasn’t made before I was.

It seems that somehow the education system in this country ended up being one of the main institutions to pay for the evils of Wall Street that crashed the country’s economy.  The Stock Market may be booming once again, but education still seems to be taking the heat in the wake of the fiscal emergency. If the children of the wealthy people responsible for this mess actually went to public school, rather than private prep schools, then we wouldn’t have such issues.

We may not like what’s happened in this school as a result of this whole bell schedule drama.  Some students (and teachers) have called teachers greedy for not wanting to do after school enrichment.  Many legitimately fear that extra-curriculars won’t be what they should be anymore.  But before we turn on one another fully, we members of the public school community should remember that none of this would be an issue if we as a country valued public education enough to make sure that every school had the money it needs to offer students the type of education that the best country in the world should be capable of offering.