Sunday, March 3, 2013

What Is Wrong With Our Public Schools?

When I began researching the topic “Educational Problems in Public Schools” I was surprised. There were roughly three influential focal points that set the precedent in a large portion of the articles I read. None of the views I found allowed for association between separate opinions, but each claimed a very specific and narrow aspect.

The three perspectives I found most commonly:

  1. The KIDS are the problem
  2. The TEACHERS are the problem
  3. BUREAUCRACY and TEACHER'S UNIONS are the problem

The KIDS are the problem!

In numerous passages I found many writers narrowed in on the faults of children. Frequently I would find statements such as these:
  • Lack of students respect for teachers.
  • Lack of students willingness to learn.
  • Students displaying violence.
  • Students social insecurites contribute to bullying.
  • Students laziness affecting schoolwork.

Now, I know students aren't perfect. We can be lazy and we can be disrespectful, but I encourage you to look at why. Why aren't children willing to learn? Why are children displaying violence? Why are kids insecure?
Perhaps youth are not willing to learn because the curriculum and materials are boring, or maybe they are acting disrespectful and violent because they aren't happy. This brings questions to my mind that I feel are more appropriate and do not direct bitterness towards one body of people.

- Is the curriculum reaching the variety of learning styles children have? (Verbal, Visual, and Kinesthetic)
- Are youth allowed enough flexibility and time to develop and use their freedom of expression?
- Are children being taught at the level they are most comfortable? (Skill dependent not age defined.)
- Are kids in a positive, attractive, uplifting atmosphere that allows for comfort and learning desire?

The TEACHERS are the problem!

YES! Blame it on the teachers! Of course it is all their fault, ~ Just jesting! I believe in order for kids to learn and be happy they must have positive role models. These individuals take on a lot of responsibility by standing in front of children who will imitate and possibly love or hate them. They must abide by teaching standards, follow school rules, communicate with children, and (hopefully) know the subjects they are teaching! And yes, just as children can be disrespectful you may also have a bad apple for a teacher; no guarantees! So...

What is going to affect the teacher's performance or his/her energy level towards teaching:

  • Are teachers being paid an adequate amount to be juggling the struggles and learning curves of a classroom of children?
  • Are teachers being provided the materials to make class fun and exciting?
  • Is there enough of the right kind of communication between parents and teachers?
  • Is the classroom size small enough that the teacher may cater to kids individual needs?
  • Does the teacher take on a role that deserves respect?
  • Is the teacher willing to admit that he/she is wrong or can be taught by the students?
  • Can the teacher commit to leaving his/her personal life -religion and other beliefs- out of his/her teaching?
  • Is the information being conveyed in class interesting and worth teaching?


Bureaucracy and teacher's unions are a big and rather touchy subject. Just like anything, as soon as any level of politics is introduced everyone has their own opinion surrounding the subject. I will only touch lightly on this topic because it is so broad and unique to the area in which you live. If you are curious about how teachers unions affect you and your local school I would suggest doing your own research online. is a good place to start looking for your local union site, and shows many of the cons of teachers unions and bureaucracy in schools.

So read, ask questions, and keep your mind open! It's a cycle of truths; the youth affect the teacher who is affected by the teachers union who is affected by the youth. Look at the whole picture and don't focus on one small aspect, but work on correcting the whole! Learning rocks!

Author of this article: Elea Cicela
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