The downsides to America’s education system

     While the education system in the United States is generally sought after, there are some disadvantages to attending American schools.

     School has taught me a lot so far, but that does not mean I remember everything that I have learned. I can barely recall half of the things that I learned during my freshman year because once those assignments, tests and classes were done, my brain made room for the new subjects. It will always be an endless cycle of learning the material, studying, testing on the subject, forgetting the curriculum and then moving on to the next unit. How are students expected to apply what they learn to the real world when the material is only tested on and not mastered?  

     The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) supposedly prepare students for standardized testing content. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it focuses on only learning a skill enough to pass the standardized tests and not mastering the actual content. Shifting the focus from standardized testing to fully learning the material will allow students to be more creative, innovative and proficient in their studies. 

     Similarly, what is taught in schools is not always flexible to the accommodations some students need. Students with special needs are at a learning disadvantage when it comes to the CCSS.  

     There also seems to be a negative stigma surrounding mental health everywhere you go, and school is no different. Some students may fear they will be judged for having a mental illness. Even though it is a rising issue, especially for young teens, it is still not always taken seriously. Even if students want to reach out, there may not be enough resources available.

     According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the national average ratio between students and school counselors from the 2020-2021 school year was 415-to-1. While that may not seem awful, the ASCA recommends a ratio of 250-to-1. 

     Even if it may not seem like a drastic difference to some, it is a problem if students are not getting the help they need.

     Safety has also become a growing concern across the United States. There seems to be something in the news about school violence every day. Specifically, there has been a major issue with gun violence in schools. If I am spending a lot of time at school, the thing I care about most above all is safety. It is both sad and frustrating how it has become such a problem.

     While there is always room for some improvement in schools, no matter the country, America definitely has a lot of work to do.