Educational Issues: State Level Standards

What the US has done

There has been a remarkable improvement in my state based on the education excellence for all children act of 1999. The US government has played a pivotal role in uplifting the standards of education especially in the elementary and secondary education. For instance, my District of Columbia adopted the state level standards that have seen it follow a framework whereby integration of federal resources to support both the state and local reforms have been embraced leading to higher levels of academic standards (The U.S. Department of Education, 1996, Para. 4). Since its adoption, the act has recorded some improvements as illustrated by the national assessment of education progress report. Students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, drugs dominated areas amongst other risky areas have recorded an improved performance since 1992 providing an evidence of the positive contribution of the act.

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Improved areas

Generally, the attendance of virtually all schools has increased regardless of their location, a factor that initially determined the population of schools. A higher number of children who, through one reason or another ranging from security, gender, climate and politics, did not attend school have opted to join. Students, especially from those poverty prone areas recorded improvements in their mathematics and science subjects. Furthermore, they also improved on their reading ability confirming the positive impact of the act.

Improvement on the skills and knowledge impacted to the students stands out as majority have been able to apply the knowledge gained in school in real-life situations. The syllabus has been designed to impact students with skills that make them become responsible citizens preparing them for further (The U.S. Department of Education, 1999, Para. 7). Based on the here and there vicissitudes, not all areas have been taken care of by the act. There stand some loopholes or rather gaps that require some improvements.

Areas Requiring Improvement

The unbalanced performance in the aforementioned subjects requires the intervention of the state in helping the affected schools and districts to improve the performance. There stands the need to ensure that students from different backgrounds perform like their counterparts from affluent families. In addition, there remains the need for ensuring high level trained teachers who have the passion and who are ready to teach the children in order to enable them grasp ideas and improve their performance (Candice, 1999, p. 32). There exists a problem in the teaching fraternity as some of the teachers are not professional qualified or rather are not well prepared to teach, a case that hampers proper learning.

Therefore, teachers should undergo high professional development training receiving support in their first three years to be proficient in their content, knowledge and skills in teaching. Another area, which requires improvement, is that of drugs and substances abuse and misuse among children in schools (Robert, 1999, Para. 6). Many schools, despite the contents of the act, have filed many cases where students use drugs, which eventually hamper their performance in school and hence their future lives. For instance, a case in Columbine high school in Littledon Colorado illustrates the repercussion that drugs and violent behaviors bring to the children. It also shows the lack of realization of the goals of the act. Therefore, these areas still need improvement if the act is to be operational.

How my area compare to the national data available

My areas, or rather district has some instances of unsuccessful story as majority of the students seem poor, a situation that hampers their successful completion of their studies compared to other areas where children come from affluent family backgrounds. There is also a problem of drug use among children, which has not yet been dealt with maximally. Various cases have been reported concerning indiscipline in the schools, which have contributed to the evident low number of graduates at the high school level.

Comparison of the High School Graduation Rate

When it comes to the graduation rate, my area has recorded a low rate due to the aforementioned reason, compared to other regions. However, the rate is gradually improving. For instance, over the last three years, my area has improved significantly, not only in academic performance but also in the enrolment. Further, cases of drug abuse in schools seem outdated, a trend that is predicted to continue for as long as the act remains in operation.

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Recommendations to my local school board regarding these goals

Concerning the school board, there is the need to ensure the involvement of all the parties, parents, teachers and students, in the process of decision making of the school. For instance, drugs and violent acts in the schools can be brought to an end by the parents, students and their teachers coming together, exercising a dialogue on the best way forward. Students should be guided and counseled in a positive way without being subjected to harsh environments. This symbiotic relationship can prove of great assistance in ending instances of drugs use and violent acts at school. Furthermore, teachers should be given relevant high-level professional development skills for them to be well equipped in order to teach well to enable the students excel in their subjects (William, 1999, Para 4).

Environments of teaching and learning need to be conducive in order to facilitate transmission of skill5s and knowledge. Accountability systems should also be introduced in high schools in order to ensure to foster students’ disciplines ensuring that teachers answer in situations where their students fail to perform well (National Education Goals Panel, 1998, Para. 5). There should be adequate follow up to ensuring that all schools promote involvements of the parents in the economic, social and academic welfare and growth of their children at large. The recommendations remain worth adapting if the gaps in the acts are to be realized.

References

Candice, F. (1999). Students Spend Year Documenting Goals 2000 Projects: Education Week. Washington, D. C: Word Press.

National Education Goals Panel. (1998). Building a Nation of Learners. Web.

Robert, H. (1999). Goals 2000: The Hour Has Arrived To Re-Evaluate The Federal Role In Education Reform. Web.

The U.S. Department of Education, (1999). America’s Education Goals: The Educational Excellence for All Children Act of 1999. London: Routledge.

The U.S. Department of Education, (1996). Crosscutting Guidance for the Elementary And Secondary Education Act. Web.

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William, C. (1999). Reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965. Washington: The U.S. government printing office.

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