Public education advocates are quick to blame low test scores on minority students, but there’s no evidence to support this. While there are many reasons for the drop in scores, the overall decline cannot be attributed to mediocre students watering down the results. Studies show that only six percent of 11th graders had solved multi-step math problems, and 75 percent did not know Lincoln’s name. Only one in five knew about Reconstruction, either.
In America, decentralizing education funding creates an increasing wealth gap. For example, Connecticut has one of the largest wealth disparities in the nation. Poor districts often border affluent ones. East Hartford, for example, has poor children while West Hartford is rich. Yet, Connecticut has one of the first mandatory public education laws. Despite this inequality, the education system still fails to improve student outcomes.
Many critics say the Common Core standards, which were introduced in 2009, lead to a focus on standardized testing. Test scores are the main measure of school performance. The pressure to improve test scores leads teachers to adopt a “teach to the test” philosophy that leads to decreased focus on the non-tested subjects. Furthermore, the Common Core State Standards do not address the problem of poverty, which is often a root cause of low test scores.
Parents are too involved in the educational process. Teachers spend far more time with students outside of school hours. The system is a faulty link. Many students are more likely to struggle in disadvantaged socioeconomic groups than those in higher income families. Parents often neglect their children because of their jobs and over-reliance on schools. If you’ve experienced this, you know how it feels. If you’ve been one of the victims of poor education, you know exactly what I mean.