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A Nation At Risk Analysis

With the learning gap, hidden curriculum, and federal education programs it would be reasonable to believe that is the only reason why the educations system is failing. Although, there is one factor that plays the largest role of all, demographics. The type of schooling a child is receiving and where they are receiving that schooling is the main concept of their education. Depending on the orientation of students, those who are in suburban public schools are going to receive an entirely different education then children in rural public schools.

Continuing, those who are in private schools are going to be taught differently than children who are in charter schools or go through public schooling. Students who are from completely two different demographics grew up in an entirely different social way of living. Socialization plays a large factor into a child’s learning; the way people interact and respond to one another. Growing up in a rural area, children are going to learn subjects like language arts or social studies completely differently. Subjects like the civil war will be taught in many different perspectives.

English is the most complex language, because it is heard, written, and spoken differently in each state. Not by a large significance but vocabulary and the ability to speak and write are large roles in education. A research article about the similarities and differences of urban and rural school’s states, “Regardless of the reason, focusing primarily on urban schools establishes a needless rural/urban antagonism and ignores the fact that urban and rural communities face similar struggles even though their circumstances differ” (Truscott, 123).

These schools are facing the same financial and resourceful circumstances due to how the education system works, it is a repeating cycle. Rural and urban schools are not made to be the same or work the same. While urban schools will introduce children to explore thousands of ways of thinking, rural schools are going to give children a set of morals and values. There is no way to tell which is works the best or benefits the student the best because each child is different.

The resolution to this problem is that the schools need to embrace the type of schooling they are instead of trying to all be the same. It is unachievable for students to receive the same education, primarily based on location. Therefore, in order to rid the problem, it needs to be looked at in a bigger picture. Throughout this essay I have discussed issues seen in the schooling system all which have no solutions. In spite of this, the federal, state, and local schooling administration has attempted to develop temporary solutions in fixing these current issues.

To start with, each state is required to develop a set of standards for those in the teaching profession. These standards include curriculum development, emotional/social develop within a student, and physical development as well. All broken down into three levels of proficient, accomplished, and distinguished. In most schools, when teachers are yearly graded it is based off of the standards for that state. For teachers of early childhood education, they have the set of Pre-K through 3rd Grade standards.

In having state standards, it attempts to fix the demographics and educational resources situation. Specifically, Ohio’s state standards for the teaching profession and for early childhood education teachers promotes the individualized education. Having state standards that children have to meet in order to get a high school diploma or move up grade levels, it gives every student the same education. In rural or urban schooling, they are still teaching to those state standards. In public or charter schools they are still teaching to those state standards.

In the Ohio Teaching Profession standards one of them is, “teachers understand student learning and development and respect the diversity of the students they teach” (12) another one being “teachers plan and deliver effective instructions that advances the learning of each individual student” (12). These standards are based on the idea of individualized learning, nonetheless, they contradict themselves when put into greater detail. “Teachers connect content to relevant life experiences and career opportunities” (21) or “teachers involve learners in self-assessment and goal setting to address gaps between performance and potential” (25).

Teachers are expected to relate what children are learning inside of the classroom to outside of the classroom. Since students are supposed to be receiving the same education, though they all have different life experiences and relate differently they are going to grasp what they are learning differently. In the standard it says that it needs to be addressed when there is a gap between what the student is doing in class and the students potential. What qualifies as a student’s potential if there is a standard of learning but individualism is the goal? Another temporary solution to the ongoing obstacles is different learning methods.

Teachers are supposed to teach in different learning methods to try and individualize every student’s education. In a classroom of twenty-three kindergarteners or fifth graders it is hard to individualize each of their educations with just one teacher. The National Child Care Information Center, illustrated a few learning methods. Listed as the following: active learning, bank street developmental interaction approach, bright beginnings, the creative curriculum, curiosity corner, developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) approach, Hawaii early learning profile, and a few more.

With all of these different methods to teach children people are under the thinking that there is no way a child cannot adapt to at least one of them. In the Kindergarten through Grade 3, Ohio Learning Standards it is stated that to, “use prior knowledge and information to assess, inform and place for future actions and learning” (6). This standard is showing once again, an attempt of individualized learning methods. Assessing where a child has come from and how that will affect their academic school work is an essential part of being successful in their education.

Ohio’s Learning Standards for Kindergarten through Grade 3 continually are like that, however, the problems are just getting worse. That however is because the end goal is correct but and the way we are going about the education system to achieve the end goal is wrong. The academic journal, “A Nation at Risk” had the end goal correct the first time. Every student should receive an individualized education and that should be the end goal. However, instead of going down the route that every student should receive an individualized education then attempt to give every student the same education and educational opportunities is wrong.

Every student in America is not going to receive the same opportunities. Not every family is wealthy or in poverty and not every family lives in the perfect mixture of urban and rural schooling systems. It should not be shamed that students are receiving executive elite schooling, parents want what is best for their child and there is nothing wrong with that. Granted it should be shamed that a child is receiving a poor education based on a poverty leveled school. The route that the education field needs to go down is individualism all the way through.

Kids should be receiving an individualized education based on who they are as humans, not where they come from or what type of schooling they want to go to. If by ninth grade a child still does not like science, that kid should not have to continuously take science courses. Children should be able to explore what they want, if America wants passionate, hard workers, then America needs to let the students be passionate about something. Rural schools and urban schools are different and nothing is going to make them the same, but how we respond to it can change.

Urban schools have lots of real world opportunities for children and half of the schools do not even take advantage of that because they are too busy meeting state and national standards. The truth is, the standards are there to give everyone the same educational opportunities and to promote an individualized education. Yet, the standards hinder students from doing just that. There should be a set of standards that teachers need to follow, otherwise there is anarchy. However, the standards should be a brief outline not descriptive manual on how to teach or what to do.

State and National testing all around should be gone, they are ineffective and inaccurate. A child can progress rapidly from 1st grade to 2nd grade or from the beginning of 3rd grade to the end of 3rd grade. Those children are so young that their entire viewpoints and perspectives can change within a week, there is no testing that. You cannot make a test a child’s entire educational future unless that test can accurately account for all the other factors that go into that child’s life as well.

To develop a more individualized education structure and curriculum would not only resolve ongoing dilemmas such as learning gap, hidden curriculum, and equality vs equity. It would provide students with the education that is best for them and if they are getting what is best for them they are going to reach their full potential. The idea is individualism but each child is the target and it is about time that the government, administrators, and teachers stop shooting the same way with the same arrow for each child.

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