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Public Education: Failures in American Public Education

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Public Education: Failures in American Public Education

The world evolves, and countries that don’t adapt their education policies and systems will fall behind in preparing the next generation for the future. It’s argued that the American public education system has fallen behind in keeping its youth prepared for the future. Decades ago, the education system in the US was designed to meet the expectations and changing needs of the Industrial Revolution.

Times have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. So how is our public education system preparing our youth today for the future? Many would argue that it lacks significantly on many levels. We explore the biggest failures affecting our children’s education today.

Government Funding

Understandably, the government has many obligations. However, the biggest issue facing our public education system is the lack of government funding. That means simply, investing in our children’s education. Lower funding means fewer teachers, diminished resources, and our children (and future leaders) being left behind.

School Safety

The string of mass school shootings is alarming and over 50% of teenagers are concerned about school shootings and gun violence at their schools. Teachers and policymakers are concerned about school safety and attempting to figure out how to combat or reduce occurrences. Many approach school violence by searching students for concealed weapons. However, the solution is not that simple. School bullying has arguably had a significant impact on school violence and deaths.

Teacher Salaries

This is a direct negative result of a lack of government funding. The salaries of teachers are not impressive. As a matter of fact, public education personnel salaries have decreased over the years. The average salary for a teacher in a public school has dropped by nearly 5%. The worst in some states average up to 17%.

Standardized Testing

Especially during the No Child Left Behind years, there has been an increased emphasis on standardized testing. Public schools, teachers, and teachers are evaluated on student test scores. Considering teacher salaries and funding issues is not a correct indication of a public school’s efficacy.


Violence at public schools is a rising issue. Bullying isn’t necessarily physical. Over 20% of students have been bullied in some form or another. This raises a lot of concern as this can lead to many behavioral and emotional problems that are more than often only identified when it’s too late.


The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that over 50% of public school children are from low-income households. Shockingly, 40% of public school children qualify for free or reduced lunches at school in 40 states. Within 18 of these states, there’s a strong correlation between achievements and underperformance.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the issues and challenges facing our public school education system today. There are other issues that we also face, including overcrowded classrooms, the closure of schools, and many more. Granted, we can’t solve all our public school issues in one day, However, our children are our future. They’re the future leaders of our country and we should make their education our main priority.



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