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Has a flawed education system failed students?

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The American education system is failing. Not only is it failing itself, but it’s failing it’s young minds as well. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, two out of three eighth graders can’t read proficiently, and nearly two-thirds of said eighth graders scored below proficient in standardized testing. About 1.1 million American students drop out of school every year, and compared to the rest of the world, America’s rank in education might make someone incredibly disappointed.

I’ve witnessed a blatant disregard for school and education in some of my peers, in my siblings, and even in some adults. It brings us to question why exactly this is.

The truth of the matter is that American schools are failing because they’re trying to fit students into a sort of box. They mold and sandpaper away at children at a young age until they’re able to fit into this compliance-based model of learning, where creativity is stripped and all that is left is an empty shell that they can fill with any type of information they want. Humans are naturally born with curiosity, creativity, and wonder. These things are intrinsic in our nature and, when guided, can lead to developing a well-rounded, independently thinking individual. Research, however, shows that with more years of formal schooling, those very qualities are stunted enormously.

If educational reform is to happen, then leaders and educators must learn to pay attention to what research says. If poorly designed standardized tests are doing absolutely nothing for students, then why consistently implement them? There’s way too much testing going on in schools across the nation but there are very few usable results. Standardized tests, and other useless testing methods, only steal valuable instructional time from the classroom and increase student anxiety levels. Why are we building a system in which students are defined by a test score?

Schools are not only to help children grow not cognitively, but also socially, emotionally, linguistically, ethically, and physically. Educational reform will not be able to happen if there isn’t a balance in which of these should be valued. At the moment, cognitive learning is the only thing that’s being focused on. However, the developmental growth of children cannot rely on only one thing.

The American education system is failing its students and it needs to be stopped. But who do we look to for change?

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Has a flawed education system failed students?