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What is education reform and what benefit can it bring to our schools?

I’m not fully against education reform mainly because I don’t understand it well. However, I’m concerned about the state of our schools. I’m a parent to two kids: one is a high school student while the other is in middle school. Therefore, the implementation of US standards based education reform concerns me too. My poor knowledge on how to reform education makes me wary of the education quality my children get. What is education reform? What are some of the benefit that we should expect from it?

James Washington

in Education News

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Heather Maxwell on July 11, 2018

Understanding what education reform is can help you discern the standard of education your children are receiving and what they should get. Educational reform refers to the goal and steps taken to changing the public education system to focus more on students’ achievements. In the US, reforming education is to encourage pursuing of K-12 education in public schools.

With principles similar to ‘the butterfly effect’, education reform focuses on small education changes aimed at creating larger returns for the whole society. A single student who accesses good education will be healthier and wealthier in future. In turn, they create opportunities for others.

The main benefits education changes such as the standards-based education reforms:

  • Lower education costs for students and parents: education-related expenses, especially for college, are prohibitively high in the US thereby denying many students opportunities for higher studies.  Education reforms are aimed at lowering these costs to affordable levels. However, it has become increasingly difficult to meet these goals as colleges regularly increase their fees as the federal government increases student grants and loan limits.
  • Higher student performance: by raising and regulating the education curriculum standards in public schools, students across all spectrums can access quality education and realize their full potential. The shift in education reform against input based curriculum to output based education system has been beneficial in preparing students for the job market.
  • Equal education opportunities for low-income families: the primary role of reforming education is to ensure that all Americans from all economic backgrounds get the K-12 education. These include low-income households and vulnerable children.
  • Better education for special needs children: there has been widespread concern that children with special needs have not been adequately considered in education policies. Many children end up staying at home as enrolling them in specialized schools is expensive.
  • A reduction in students’ dropout rates. Almost a quarter of American students don’t complete high school with most of them ending up on the streets.  

Reforming the public education system has been a long ongoing process starting in the 1980s up to today. Knowing how to reform the education system doesn’t guarantee changes in a day, and there is no quick-fix solution to the problems that we face. We’re yet to realize the full impact of the benefits I have mentioned herein. Given time and proper leadership to steer the vision, total education reform is viable in the next few years. 

Wilson Hansen9 months ago

Education reform is a highly divisive topic in America today. I will have to admit; I lean more towards those against education reform than those for it. I think that the education sector is doing great enough without the constant addition of reform policies. If you assess recent education data, you will realize that there have been positive changes in major areas including student performance. It is especially notable that the trend is evident among vulnerable and impoverished communities too.

Beginning from education policies by the Obama government, most of what is being implemented in education has been done before and failed. Most of these education policies are not conversant with the changing needs and environment. There is nothing new, and therefore we shouldn’t expect significant progress. Worse still, teacher evaluation using student test score is an inaccurate, unreliable and misinformed. Blaming poor performance on teachers is ill-advised and wrong. 


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