It’s Time For A Change: A Rethink Of Federal Education Policy
Tired of the same old education debates? Fed up with the same old questions being asked and the same old answers being given? Maybe it’s time to start looking at things in a different way… One that goes beyond both traditional left-right politics, and traditional discussions of what works or doesn’t work in schools. And while I’m no education policy expert, I’ve spent enough time working as an aid worker in developing countries to see that what we’re doing isn’t working here at home, either… and I think it’s about time for something new.
The need for change
Since the 1965 passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, American education policy has been shaped by a focus on inputs, or funding. As students in America continue to lag behind their global counterparts, it is time for a fundamental rethink of federal education policy. We should not be basing our education policies off of how much money we spend but instead what we are getting out of our investment.
The current state of federal education policy
Since the 1960s, federal education policy has been primarily focused on increasing access to higher education for Americans. This effort can be traced back to President Lyndon Johnson who had the goal of creating a nation of educated people and a society based on meritocracy. To do this, the Higher Education Act was created in 1965 which provided federal assistance to institutions of higher education. Then in 1972, Title IX was passed which outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex at any federally funded educational program or activity.
What needs to be changed
When it comes to education, there are two major things that need to change. The first is the lack of funding for public schools. We need to invest in our children’s future and provide them with a quality education. Second, we need to change the way that we’re teaching our kids.
How to change it
In the United States, education policy is enacted at the federal level. The Department of Education has two roles; firstly it must protect students’ civil rights and secondly, it oversees all federal assistance in education. As part of its role, the Department sets standards for what schools should teach and how they should do so. If a school fails to meet these standards, they risk losing their funding from the federal government. However, currently there are no repercussions for states that fail to meet educational benchmarks set by the Department.
The benefits of change
Education has long been a hot topic of debate in the United States. Every year, we seem to be hearing about how we need to implement more reforms or change our current system to ensure that students are getting the best quality education possible. While there are many different opinions on what should be done, one thing is for sure- it’s time for a change. The federal government spends a staggering $600 billion dollars per year on K-12 education and this money seems to not be going anywhere.