Many people believe that the purpose of public education is to make the same level of education available to all students across America. Even though this ideal is very virtuous, it is not being achieved today and can never really be achieved in its purest form.
Why is this?
There are many well-education, amazing teachers in the United States who believe in the idea of the standardization of education, but they all teach a little bit differently. Even with the introduction of scripted curriculum people interpret information in different ways and incorporate their own experiences into instruction. Not every teacher is alike and they are not going to talk about subjects the same way. I am not saying that this is an issue. I think that allowing for professional teacher innovation in the classroom allows for more creative thinking from those teachers, which gives the students an opportunity to learn new things and foster their creative abilities. There do need to be some standards in the way students are taught, but there also needs to be room for a teacher to produce these standards in their own unique ways that best fit the classrooms and students that they are teaching.
A one-size-fits-all model for students is not working. There have been countless studies that have continuously shown that people learn differently. Teacher creativity in the classroom can allow for students to learn in different ways that are best for them. There are just different types of students within a classroom, some students care more about school than others, some are more disruptive, some might have learning disabilities, and so on. There is no single definition for what a “standard” classroom of students would look like in the American public school systems. Pushing for student innovation and critical thinking within classroom would allow different types of students to develop their own unique gifts and talents that they can one day use to help shape their adult lives. We cannot continue to try to fit students into a mold of a “typical”student. Standardizing students as numbers and not as a person is taking the humanness out of the system, which does not lead to real achievement.
Today students across America do not have access to the same amount of resources. Whether that be books, equipment, technology, or space. This is just the truth. Resources in the public school system depend on the state, the allocation of the funding, the school district, the caliber of the school, how the principal decides to give funds, and so many other factors. This creates a resource deficit for many students in America, especially ones who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Because these gaps exist today does not mean that they have to exist for years to come. Right now, I do not know the right answer to changing these resource gaps, but I do know that if we are striving for students to have an equal opportunity education they must be able to be exposed to the same resources.
It is very nice to talk about standards of education across the country, but as we all know that is all it is, nice conversation. I think that instead of trying to standardize the system across all boards we should be listening to the needs of the teachers and students and try to meet them where they are most lacking i regards to resources. If we can equip teachers with what they need to be successful then they will be better able to teach students and help them to achieve their potential, in whatever way they can.