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April 10, 2018 Tuesday 01:37:17 PM IST

7 Requirements the US Educationists Put Forward!

Policy Indications

America has always been in the progressive graph as far as education is concerned. But in recent years, the situation has changed drastically. Though America’s economy has become more knowledge-based over the past several decades, there has been a hollowing out of the middle class. In 2015, for the first time ever, less than half of American households were middle class. Real wages have been stagnant since the 1960s, particularly for those in the middle- and lower-income brackets.

The modern economy has left behind the nearly two-thirds of workers without a college degree. Over the past 50 years, job creation has mainly been in industries such as health care; business and financial services; education; and government services, where a large proportion of jobs require some postsecondary training or college degrees.

The U.S. economy is increasingly perceived as a zero-sum game in which only those who are already well-off reap the most benefits. And as the American ideal of a country in which economic mobility and opportunity are accessible to all seems to be moving further and further away, disillusionment with the political system grows. Embracing a progressive agenda for educational equity is key to reclaiming the promise and once again putting the American ideal within reach.

Hence, the educationists in America are calling for an urgent reformation in the field. They did a thorough analysis of the situation and put forward 7 suggestions to improve the scenario.

1. Provide a tutor for every child performing below grade level:

A 2011 paper that investigated the effects of tutoring provided by teachers found that students who received tutoring in either reading or math performed significantly better on the state standardized test than a control group of students with similar prior scores who did not receive tutoring. The research results on the effectiveness of tutoring make intuitive sense. High-quality tutoring can meet each student at his or her individual level.

2. Offer free breakfast and lunch for all students, regardless of income:

According to a report, forty-one million Americans, including 13 million children, do not reliably have enough food to eat. Meeting all children’s nutritional needs could keep students healthier, which would keep them at school and support their learning while there.

3. Ensure opportunities to combine college preparatory academics with technical training and workplace experience:

Not every student has the same academic needs, interests, and goals, but many schools still offer courses and provide instruction that treat students as if they are the same. This should be changed.

4. Transition to a 9-to-5 school day to better fit parents’ needs:

Currently, the average school day is less than seven hours and the median school day ends at 2:50 p.m. This is creating issues for the working parents. So the educationists are suggesting for a 9 to 5 school day.

5. Support, train, and pay teachers like professionals:

Proper training and payment given to the teachers will increase the quality of teaching.

6. Create a safe and healthy environment in every school:

Mental health issues such as attention difficulties, delinquency, and substance use are associated with lower academic achievement and attainment. Likewise, experiencing trauma is associated with lower standardized test scores and an increased risk of being diagnosed with a learning disability or behavioral disorder.

To better serve students, mental health counseling and academic guidance roles should be separated, and all students should have access to both types of supports. In addition, every student with pressing mental health needs should have access in school to counseling from a trained professional, and every school should have the personnel necessary to implement school wide behavioral support and social-emotional learning programs.

7. Eliminate crumbling school buildings:

While school building conditions are a national problem, the disrepair of America’s public schools disproportionately affects students in low-income communities that cannot raise funds for maintenance, repair, or modernization, say the educationists.