President George H.W. Bush signed into law an act known very well among educators as the “No Child Left Behind” Act. Although the President’s intentions were noble when he signed this act into law; he knew little of how well it might work. I am not writing to critize President Bush, I am here to give legitimacy to my claim that the “No Child Left Behind” Act is failing miserably and I believe that every child can succeed if given the appropriate level of attention and encouragement. Our children don’t just need an education, they need a good education so that our next generation of Americans can succeed in a globalized world where new innovations are presented from our own country. The following are my suggestions to make every child succeed a possibility.
A major problem facing the education system in America is that of overpopulation. In 2011 the 7 billionth child in the world was born and the birth to death ratio in America has been steady at ratios near 8 births per 1 death. There were 75,286,000 students participating in the public education system in America as of 2010 while there were just 3,600,000 teachers to educate them, according to data collected from the United States Census. At this time the teacher to student ratio was 15.3 students for every teacher. In contrast with the year 2000, America has had 68,685,000 students in the public school system with only 3,366,000 teachers leaving a larger teacher to student ratio of 15.9 students for every teacher. This is a difference of 6,601,000 students entering the public school system in just one decade and another 5,000,000 more students predicted to enter the system by 2020. One thing clearly shown when looking at U.S. Census numbers regarding education is that the student to teacher ratio is rediculously high.
There is an option available to fix this problem. We cannot prevent the overpopulation problem, but we can adjust to it and alter some policies within the Department of Education so that the teacher to student ratio rises. In specifically I would like to introduce the idea of nationwide wage decreases for education department officials and suggest an enactment of federal law declaring a maximum for salaried educators working within the public school system. In 2000 our school principals average salaries are at $74,374 and have risen to $95,736. Our school teachers averaged $42,213 and now are at $54,220. The United States government has just blown through nearly 1 trillion dollars with wars and has a deficit even higher, we simply cannot keep spending money that doesn’t exist. Therefore I propose an innovative solution. That solution is that we must sacrifice wages today in education to support the future of America tomarrow. This is not an easy concept to accept if you are an educator as price of living continues to rise. However, we must consider the idea that if we are greedy now we will be sorry later. Sacrificing knowledge for money is an arrogant act and will reduce the amount of great ideas being conceived within our own nation as others compete fiercly in a globalized world for superpower status.
Having stated these facts I am going to state my point very clearly by suggesting that many children are indeed being left behind as the teacher to student ratio continues to decline. There are many reasons this could be happening. The economy having suffered great losses in the last decade and also the government cuts in education could be discerned as problematic also. What we can do is to hire more teachers at reasonable salaries and appropriate more grants that pay those salaries. We can also discontinue the costly new construction of facilities in favor of renovating the facilities we currently have at a fraction of the costs. If every child is to truly succeed we must sacrifice some monetary things in favor of the not so visible things. As the old adage goes knowledge is power. If we as Americans are to continue to perform superior in a global market we must educate our children and make them a well acknowledged priority.