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America's Education System Is Fine

posted by samusaran253 on - last edited - Viewed by 401 users

I originally posted this on another forum, but then I realized how much I wanted to share it with you guys, so here goes:

After seeing some people, mostly Europeans, claim that all Americans are stupid because our "education system is worse than North Korea's" and making other baseless claims like that, I've decided to share my own experience with the education system of the United States. After going through America's 13 year system, let me say this, it was easy. I wish I could be one of those people who say that high school (the last 4 years of the education system; the last 6 years, if you count junior high school), but they weren't, in fact I am a much happier person now than I was in high school. By no means am I implying that the American education system is perfect, since no system is entirely perfect, but it's definitely not as bad as the liberal media makes it out to be.

No, I'm not a prodigy or anything, but I went through the education system and it worked fine. I didn't go to some fascist Orwellian high school with metal detectors, school uniforms, strict dress code, drug sniffing dogs, or police everywhere. I also didn't go to a run-down high school with gangs, violence, bullying, or anything like that. I just went to a normal American high school. Please note that I am basing this entire thread upon my personal experience, which was with a high school in a semi-rural area, and by no means represents urban (city) high schools, which are likely gang infested.

I went through the system like everyone else, did my education like everyone else, K-6, 7-8, and 9-12, and I wasn't generally a straight A student, nor did I have perfect behavior. I definitely could have been a straight A student had I applied myself more, but that was not the fault of the education system, that was a fault of my own. I am an extremely intelligent human being, and have been since I was about 13. I can code and design an entire fully functional website in less than an hour, I am informed about almost all political issues and have opinions on them, I study political ideologies and religions in my free time to further my knowledge, I know how the world works both in high school and after it, and I was always a step ahead of most of my peers, and still am today in many cases.

We teach our children and later our teenagers just fine, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Does that mean I want to lessen funding towards education? No, in fact I want to increase funding towards education. I feel as though education is very important for today's young people, but remember, high school is all about learning how to become a productive and social member of society, K-6 on the other hand is all about learning basics such as the English language, science, mathematics, and other core classes. My school district never had the best funding, and in my final year of high school it was/is crumbling now, because of lack of state funding. It has gotten so bad that they had to close down a lot of elementary schools in the area, and merge them with other elementary schools. They're even planning on merging an elementary school with my local junior high school, which many of the locals, myself included, are strongly against.

Now lets get down to the social aspect, high school has virtually no bullying, bullying is something little kids do in the K-6 system, not teenagers. No, I wasn't some popular football playing jock who had a cheerleader girlfriend, in fact, I was the opposite. I was the video game playing geek with practically no friends. Sure, I had some "friends" who I would hang out with at school and talk to online, but like most people, I only had maybe one or two real friends. But even within my own group, I was one of the people who just didn't fit in entirely, despite me being one of the two leaders of the group, and the administrator of the group's official message board. We had cliques, of course, like every high school does, there were the jocks, the emos, the stoners, the cheerleaders, the preps, the band geeks, the goths, us gamers, and all other kinds of cliques, and of course there was also individuality. But cliques are nothing like what Hollywood makes it out to be, everyone gets along with everyone else, and everyone has friends in every group, and all groups peacefully socialize with each other.

There were no gangs, but again, I've never lived in a major city, especially not a poor area of a city. We did have some drugs though, of course there was alcohol and smoking, but never on campus, and those are of course general things teenagers do to rebel (or because they get addicted). There wasn't any peer pressure though, no one ever pressured you into doing drugs, or even really asked you too. Of course, there's the occasional pot, but pretty much no one got into the hard drugs, maybe a few of the stoners did some of the hardcore stuff like meth, but no one I know (aside from one girl, but she graduated a few years before me). Now then, teen sex, sure, there was a lot of that, but most people played it safe and used condoms and/or birth control. There were a handful of pregnancies each year, but they brought that upon themselves. As for fashion, let me say that, like most guys, I'm not very adept when it comes to fashion. I would just wear whatever I felt like, and never got made fun of or singled out too much. Sure, there were the preps who always wore Hollister or the emos who generally wore darker clothing, but it certainly wasn't a fashion contest or anything like that.

I'd say the school system is pretty damn good, if not the best in the world. Sure, after high school, like most people, I missed it, and still do sometimes. I wish I could go back and be 13 again, a teenager, and start my adult/teenage life over. But all-in-all I'm glad of the person I am now, I'm not rich or overly successful yet, but I work hard and I'm getting there, since that's what America is all about, hard-work and making your own future. The school system has already vastly improved, my baby brother learned in 3rd grade what they taught me and everyone else in 5th grade. He was learning multiplication and division in like second grade. So yes, I'm glad our school system is making strides to become better, because our young people are the future of this country. Do I think we need to completely overhaul the school system? No. Do I think we need to take extreme stances like metal detectors, teachers beating students, school uniforms, strict dress codes, search and seizures every 2 hours, drug sniffing dogs, or anything like that? No. But I do think we need to fund education more. Of course, you have to remember that every high school is different, and with that, I bid adieu.

24 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I've worked in schools in the US in a few places (as well as in other countries), and it varies a lot state-by-state. For example, California's public schools are absolutely terrible due to a law known as Proposition 13 which stops property taxes from ever increasing, leaving them with basically no money to spend in the school districts. Other states have excellent systems. There are also thousands upon thousands of very good private schools, but you have to pay for those.

    Anyway, I don't feel like getting into the relative merits of various countries' educational systems, but I can say that I haven't really noticed huge differences in the quality of education or the enthusiasm of students in the various places I have taught (US, Japan, France). Many American people are stupid, but many American people are really goddamned smart too. Just as in any country.

    Edit: In summation, the US' education system is not exactly 'fine', but it is far from completely broken or awful.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    Yeah, bullying and drugs, that's almost off-topic in an original post.

    Bullying is nothing Europeans would attribute to American schools exclusively or primarily. We've got enough of that c*** ourselves and it's a massive problem world-wide. If you have visited a school where there has never been an intrigue against you, no vicious rumours were ever spread, no brutal pranks ever played on you, no popular guy/girl belitteling you openly and daily for fun, no classmate or pupil from another school ever clobbered you on the way home, then you have had an effing, effing great childhood, whatever the country.

  • I think that the big problem with the US educational system is that it's not a right but rather a good you have to gain.

    Im clearly not from there so i only know what i see from the outside, but it seems that to get a good education there you got to have lots of money. And it seems to be a lot of stress and competition around the aplications for university and that kind of stuff . I just tell what i can see from a surface perspective.
    But anyway, if there is a problem with your educational system i think it has to do more with that.

  • @KuroShiro said: I've worked in schools in the US in a few places (as well as in other countries), and it varies a lot state-by-state. For example, California's public schools are absolutely terrible due to a law known as Proposition 13 which stops property taxes from ever increasing, leaving them with basically no money to spend in the school districts. Other states have excellent systems. There are also thousands upon thousands of very good private schools, but you have to pay for those.

    Having gone to school in California my whole life I can verify this. The public schools suck, especially in my area. And the cash deficit even hits at the university level. Every year more classes are cut, and the budgets for the remaining classes are reduced as well to the point where not everyone can get the classes they need to graduate quickly enough. That's why we have protests all the time!

    Now you can play the "Guess where Alcore goes to school" game!

  • There are significant problems with the state of education in this country. Reading, writing and arithmetic are all suffering horribly. However, the worst flaw with America's educational system is that nobody is learning the value of character any more. In Vietnam, there wasn't a choice. You had to learn character.

    Unlike bowling, there were no rules. You had to guide yourself on your own morality and our schools at the time reflected this. If Vietnam happened all over again, no one would be ready. We'd all have piss on our rugs and be left holding the ringer.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • @Comrade Pants said: There are significant problems with the state of education in this country. Reading, writing and arithmetic are all suffering horribly. However, the worst flaw with America's educational system is that nobody is learning the value of character any more. In Vietnam, there wasn't a choice. You had to learn character.

    Unlike bowling, there were no rules. You had to guide yourself on your own morality and our schools at the time reflected this. If Vietnam happened all over again, no one would be ready. We'd all have piss on our rugs and be left holding the ringer.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    The schools can't do much about teaching character if the example isn't set at home.

  • @Friar said:
    I've had to teach myself about the majority of important historical events, like the Soviet Union, Coldwar, American revolution, the English Civil War, Battle of Trafalgar, the battle of britain... and so on. In my five years in secondary education I learnt about the two world wars, the slave trade, the american west( the Native American tribes and stuff) and what medicine was like throughout time (a thoroughly pointless, but reasonably interesting unit). I don't have the knowledge I feel is required by the world today. Communism and the soviet union seems like something that definately should have been included. It's recent, it was huge and is very much in older generations minds. Were they frightened we'd all turn into commies if they taught us it? Well, I'm afraid I've swung partially that way due to my research being incomplete and one-sided (trying to find a proper balanced view on the subject is hard, as most american written ones are heavily influenced by the cold war propaganda).

    None of that is the fault of my history teacher. He was truly fantastic, and really enthusiastic. He's got MS now and walks around with a walking stick.
    [/rant]

    We are being taught about communism and the Soviet Union (I go to a UK school), so I suppose every school is different.

  • http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

    Hopefully that works for non mobiles. If not, just yourube search "RSA Animate Education" and find the title about 'changing paradigms'.

    Of course, that is not just an American problem.

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