Education in America
Why education has been and is still a strong aspect of our American culture.
Why is education valued in American society?
Education has been one of the strongest aspects of our way of life and remains meaningful in current times. Our Founding Fathers believed in the power of education to such a high degree, that they set up a public school system making quality education accessible to every child in American, regardless of economic background or ability to pay. Likewise, after watching the documentary American Creed, I took note of the fact that many people who immigrated to the United States or had family immigrate to the US, talked about how important education is to them. This is due to the fact that many immigrants came from places with little or no access to education. Lack of education makes it quite difficult to become well educated and have a prosperous career. In America, quality education is available to all, not just the rich. Regardless of social status, all Americans have access to education. This enables young Americans to become successful in their later years of life.
Does more funding for schools equal better results and more opportunity?
People who support urban and inner city school systems often make the claim that those schools are radically underfunded compared to their suburban counterparts. They argue that school funding is based merely upon money gathered from local property taxes. Hence, creating an unequal distribution of funding. However, that is always not the case. Many states have adopted a system of funding that gives each school the same amount of dollars for every child that attends, which levels the playing field. In Minnesota, New Jersey, and Ohio, urban schools outspend neighboring suburban schools, however academic performance is no better. Furthermore, historical trends and other various statistics show us that just increasing funding for public schools does not improve academic success.
How can we ensure student’s success in our nation’s public schools system?
In order to improve student’s academic performance in our nation's public schools, state lawmakers should propose education reforms that improve resource distribution, in particular, school choice. Parents can take their child’s share of public education dollars to find the right school for them, even if that certain school is not in their educational precinct. It has been proven that children who participate in schools of choice programs experience increased testing scores compared to children that don’t.
In Michigan, is there a correlation between school spending and student achievement?
In April of 2016, a study conducted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Ben DeGrow, an assistant of economics professor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, concluded that there is no significant correlation between school spending and academic performance in Michigan’s public schools. The study analyzed test scores from 2007 through 2013 from 4,000 schools individually. By examining individual schools instead of school districts, a more accurate examination between money spent and student outcomes was administered. The results were, that out of the twenty-eight areas of student achievement, only one area saw a link between spending and academic achievement. The other twenty seven areas saw no correlation between school spending and student outcomes. Following the release of these results, Ben DeGraw stated,“The state’s school spending adequacy study is sure to conclude additional tax dollars are necessary to improve student performance to adequate levels, but lawmakers, parents and the Michigan Department of Education owe it to students to examine how education dollars are spent, rather than simply throwing more money to areas that do not directly impact the classroom. As our findings suggest, it could be that public schools generally fail to spend additional resources effectively”(qtd. In Lovell).
Lips, Dan. “Does Spending More on Education Improve Academic Achievement?” The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/education/report/does-spending-more-education-improve-academic-achievement.
Lowell, Chantell. “New Study: No Correlation Between School Spending and Student Outcomes.” Mackinac Center: Advancing Liberty and Opportunity, www.mackinac.org/22355.