Politics Blog: Individualize Education Reform

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Michelle DeWitt

President Obama’s education initiative has come under some scrutiny this week. The program he has implemented, ‘Race to the Top,’ rewards states based on their plans to reform education.

My issue with the government running schools is that a lot of times the people in government making these decisions don’t totally know what they’re talking about and have never spent time in a classroom full of babbling children. Obama has recently said that the "goal is accountability" and that teachers need to have the necessary resources to effectively do his/her job. Which is all well and good, but let’s be realistic.

It wasn’t too long ago that I attended a public high school and I can honestly say that even a great teacher is completely useless when faced with an apathetic, lazy and unwilling student. This applies to elementary schools too. If a parent is not going to take the time to see that a child is doing his/her homework and understanding the material, how much can a teacher really do?
My issue with these all encompassing education reform efforts is that they take on the attitude that all students, parents and teachers are the same. Not all students learn the same way or take an equal interest in their education. Not all parents take an equal interest in their child’s education. And not all teachers take an interest in their students.
I think that the first step to reforming education is the recognize that we are not all the same and that is ok. In addition, we need to break the pattern of financially punishing schools that aren’t up to snuff because that only hurts students. We need to look at students as individuals, figure out what their individual potential is and help him/her reach and surpass it.
Read more of Michelle’s blog on Beltway Banter: https://www.collegemagazine.com/college-blogs/category/beltway-banter/



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