The American School System


         “In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.” These were the words of Mark Twain, one of the most memorable American writers of all time, who quit school when he was 12. There are so many reasons that the American school system is flawed. One reason is that almost nobody likes coming to school every day. Also, failing school doesn’t necessarily mean failing life, therefore showing that school doesn’t give you all the skills you need to make it in the “real world”. In addition to that, the base of our schools is telling kids that the only thing that they need to have a successful future is a 100.

        What if I told you to spend at least 7 hours every day inside of a room with 20 people who also don’t want to be there and a person who helps you solve problems you wouldn’t have without them? You would probably be pretty mad, but this is what most of the kids in the world have to deal with. For Americans, this is even worse because the teacher’s salary is about $49,000 per year; less than average. Also, the typical American teacher spends about 12-16 hours every day at school. There are also countless reasons that students hate school. 86% of people report hating school at one point and 28% of all college students report sleeping in class on a regular basis, not only because of stagnant teachers but also because of homework overload. Another problem with the American school system is bullying because 30% of people report being bullied in school. Bullying can lead kids and teachers to hate school.

        Another reason that schools all over the US are failing students is that they aren’t teaching kids the skills they need to do well in the “real world”. Although many schools teach “teen skills” as an elective, it is not mandatory and students who don’t take that class may not be prepared for living by themselves. Our president, Donald Trump said, “We need to fix our broken education system!”and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk said, “Downloading data and algorithms into your brain is actually, well, amazingly bad”. Many successful people such as Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg quit school at one point, proving that, depending on your situation, quitting school can even be beneficial.

        My final reason that our school system is flawed is that it’s destroying students’ creativity and curiosity. There are so many examples of this in an average student’s time at school. For one, the teachers don’t allow kids to spend time at the library to learn unless it is “library day”. Also, the entire system is based on a number, and not on how much effort the student puts in. In our school system, kids are treated as learning machines, expected to sit still in place for hours on end, to finish mountains of work, and to memorize dates and facts and formulas about subjects that they may never use. Some students may spend hours on a project, but get a low score on it due to the fact that they may have done something that their teacher didn’t like, but any other teacher would have been okay with. In addition to that, every student is treated the same, which could end in some students failing, or others being bored out of their mind during class. This kind of system is also used for Another reason is that American schools put mathematics, science, language, and history over physical education and fine arts. Although math, science, English and social studies can come in handy sometimes, they don’t give you the skills you need that you receive from PE such as teamwork and leadership.

        I know you may be thinking American schools accept all types of students and are relatively cheaper than other countries’ schools, making them a great choice for your kids, but this can lead to bullying for the kids who stand out and have special needs. Although it is impossible for anything to be perfect, there are so many ways for American schools to be improved. For one, we could have a higher teacher to student ratio so that the kids can have more one-on-one learning. Another way for our schools to be more effective is flexible class times because 50 minutes nowadays just isn’t enough for kids to actually get in any quality learning. In other words, the United States’ education may be effective in many ways, but there is always space for improvement.

        All things considered, you may still be thinking that the positive qualities still outweigh the negative. If this was true, then why is the US ranked 17th in education out of 40 countries and not 1st? There is still hope because you can write a letter or email your principal suggesting more flexible class times, smaller classes, and setting up a placement test that places kids in classes that don’t overwhelm or bore them to death. If your suggestions are taken to heart, it can help secure a more positive future for American education.