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Anonymous
Anonymous asks:
Q:

should the state be responsible for educating its citizens?

In Topics: State education standards
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BarbK
Nov 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

This is a tough question, if not almost impossible to answer.  I've actually been interested in this topic for a while now, and I still don't know what should be done.  I do think, as do many others today, that the education system is broken.  There are many things you can blame it on like high stakes testing, not enough highly qualified teachers, school building falling apart, etc....  But the finger pointing won't help the students.

The Federal Department of Education (DOE) was founded under the Cater administration.  I'm sure there were good reasons for this at the time.  However, as the Federal DOE got big and more powerful, they started to take more control over what was happening on the state level, and this in turn trickled down to the local level.  In order for states to get those Federal dollars, they need to jump higher and through more hoops that the Federal DOE mandates.  The problem is there is no one size fits all when it comes to what students need.  Yes they do need some basics that will help, but what works in an urban school, might not work as well in the farmlands in the Mid West.  Even in larger school districts what works at one school, won't be so successful in another.  Yet, teachers hands are tied as to what they can and can't do.  In fact many school systems have curriculum focus calendars that drive their instruction.  These calendars they them what they should be teaching on what day no matter what.

I would like to see the states have more say in how they plan to spend the Federal education dollars, rather than being dictated by the Federal DOE.  I would also like to see more educators' input when creating policies.  

I would love to know what others think about this question.

Barb K
www.LessonPop.com

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Additional Answers (1)

Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
Tough question!  I believe this question to be more based on opinion than facts, but I still think it's tough to answer.

We send our children to school to achieve an education, develop social skills and gain experiences that will help them succeed in life.  However, it is also the parent's responsibility to insure that their children are obtaining a good education and to use their own resources and time to teach their children as much as possible.  We, as parents and taxpayers, send our children to school, and expect them to have access to the highest quality books and instruction and therefore that does make it partially the states responsibility because they are responsible for setting the curriculum and hiring the teachers that will introduce this material.  It is a privilege to attend school but also it is a law.  It is really hard to answer this question, but I must say that yes, the state is somewhat responsible for giving the students as high of education as possible, but the parents must be involved to achieve total success.  As you know, the state designs what is age appropriate material and when it should be presented in which grade level, and at times, we as parents, may feel that it is a bit inappropriate, but must go along with those procedures because it is the law.  For example:  teaching geometry to 1st grade is not high on my priority list, when I feel as though they should be mastering their reading, writing and basic math skills, such as adding, subtracting.  My child sitting in class coloring, coloring, coloring, does not make much sense to me when once again, I feel that reading, writing and basic math is more important.  There is also a lot of TV time allowed in the classroom, almost daily, but I can't change the way the state has designed the curriculum or the teacher they hired, but what I can do, is work with my child at home to see that although, she colored and watched the latest movie release at school today, she now must read to me, practice writing or work on some math skills at home.  I'm interested in reading more opinions or facts on this matter, thanks for bringing this to just ask at education.com.
> 60 days ago

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