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Changes in American Education

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Changes in social-cultural activities have necessitated policy makers to amend some educational policies. People are shifting from the rigid traditional models of schooling to flexible choice options. Since 1960, the federal government has contributed immensely to the development of education policies aimed at providing quality and competitive learning environment to its citizens.

Among the policies that have been put in place is the state testing policies. The government developed and approved a new curriculum and mandated testing policies with the focus of examining the students regularly so as to determine whether they understand the subject matter (Pulliam & Van, 1999). The students sit for exams which are later marked by their teachers. Marks are allocated and used to grade the students. Those who do not reach a certain average mark are forced to repeat that class. This has increased competition among students as each one aims at out-doing the other. Consequently performance rating has improved in many schools. Another policy is the No Child Left Behind legislation which has continued to put pressure on school administration to ensure that despite their background, all students are enrolled and performs well in their core subjects. I believe this policy had a major effect as it ensured children from poor families were able to access quality and affordable education.

In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, developed a variety of programs; among them was the federal aid to children from poor areas (Smith, 1990). This resulted to an increase in enrollment at the elementary schools. The aid was also extended to needy college students, who would otherwise, have dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. In 1980, the Department of Education was established; this had a major impact to the education system. The department operates programs that contribute positively to all areas of education. Their main aim is foster education excellence and ensures equal accessibility to learning.

Over the past one year, the government has invested heavily in education both at elementary and higher learning levels. The student loan program was signed into law thus allowing direct students loan. The No Child Left Behind measures have continued to receive more funding to ensure all children receive excellent education in order for them to be competitive in the global market.

Chapter 9: Globalization, Trends, and Gaining Perspective

Millennials Go To College

The book by Neil Howe and William Strauss discusses about Millennial Generation and their characteristics as they enter college. Millennial Generation is the generation born from 1982 to the present. The book discusses various cultural dynamics characterized by this generation and the general characteristics that can well describe this generational cohort as a whole.

Unlike Generation X, which is the generation preceding Millennial Generation, the later seems optimistic. The generation is team-oriented and rule-followers. The generation has not only driven down teen pregnancies and abortion, but it has also led to declined suicide rates, violent crimes and drug use among youth. On the other hand, in comparison to Millenials Generation, Generation X did not value education. Millenials are presented as being the most ethnically diverse and also the busiest generation.

Mr. Howe's delineations of generational differences will influence educators' practices in the classroom in various ways. First, the educators will have a great interest in this generation. This is because the generation seems to be more promising than the earlier generation. With the availability of advanced technology such as internet in this millennial generation, the educators will be able to carry out their duties effectively. Despite of its importance, the educators will have challenges from the internet since the Millenial generation will be liable to misuse the internet through social sites. Also, because of he influence of peer pressure among Millennials, teachers will face challenge when dealing with them. 

Chapter 10: Issues in Modern American Education

In 1950’s, racial discrimination in schools was the norm in United States. The black schools were inferior in comparison to the white schools. Brown tries to enroll his child Linda in a white elementary school but the principal could not allow him. Brown decides to challenge the segregation based in color in Public schools.

I was interested in this case segregation is still a sensitive issue in many nations. There are segregation based on sex, color, tribe and so on. The segregation pervades other aspects of life which the inferior group is likely to undergo during life time. Segregation prevents students from achieving what they could have otherwise achieved.

This case involved families of students attending public schools in New Hyde Park. According to the families, the voluntary prayers, which student recited during school opening, contradicted with their religious beliefs. 

I selected this case because the issue of religion in schools has contributed greatly to segregation. Some students may not join a certain school because of their religion. Also, on the ruling the case, it is interesting to note that the prayer was a “government-written prayer” which in my own opinion was wrong since the government should not be biased or favor any religion.

Chapter 11: Globalization, Trends, and Gaining Perspective

Impacts of Internet on Educational Instruction Today

Due to advancement in technology, internet has become an important feture of learning in schools today. Students all over the world are using internet as a tool aiding them to study outside the classroom. Internet has helped students complete their projects through carrying out researches. Many students prefer using internet than libraries.  What has interested me on the topic the topic is the question of cheating. Internet usage has some disadvantages, among the disadvantages is cheating. Cheating, by using someone else work renders the students not to be creative.

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