The first public school in the United States opened in 1635 in Boston. At the start, public schools focused on family virtues, religion, and community. The focus shifted to academics by the mid 19th century because of the idea of progressive education and making sure the child is fully educated. Public schools have evolved since then to what we have today.
While public schools have evolved for the better, there are many young Americans today that don’t have equal access to education. This lack of equal access could be blamed on location, the ability of teachers, and even the ability of the students. The type of resources schools have available to them could also be at fault. If a school is lacking in resources, then they will struggle in providing the proper education that students need to be successful in the real world.
One viewpoint that stands out in particular is from Condoleezza Rice. She shared her many thoughts and concerns about education within the United States at the 2015 National Summit on Education Reform. Ms. Rice is a political scientist and activist. She also served as the Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. In her speech at this event, she states, “There is no more important issue before us as a country than the education of each child to his or her potential.” Rice really emphasizes that every child should have an equal opportunity to education, every child should get the best education possible. She also strongly believes that “it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you’re going…” It shouldn’t matter where students live--as long as they have equal access, they can have the opportunity to go wherever they want to go as long as they apply themselves.
Equal access to education within the United States is key to preparing our students. These students are the future of America. They will be teachers, politicians, lawyers, and more. We should try our best to give them the tools they need to be successful after their K-12 years. Whether it be college or the workforce, we should try our hardest to best prepare them for success. In the film American Creed, Oklahoma principal Deidre Prevett said, “Education is the key to success.” If we use that key to unlock the door to prosperity, numerous opportunities will arise for our future generations.