The Effects of Competition
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It was previously announced that the ministry of education in US, under which the program Race to the Top falls, will give guidance to the states that the program applies. This program looks forward to spending $ 4.35 billion of the federal cash. This cash goes to the improvement of the k-12 failing schools. It is an initiative that Obama administration unveiled in the recent past. This is particularly a significant boost to public failing school. Therefore, the idea that lack of funds will prevent a better establishment in the education syllabus is the thing of the past [Was this the main idea of the sentence?]. It seems to the critics that the $4.35 billion is a lot of money, but the reality is that it is not so much, compared to what the US spends on education [Was this the main idea of the sentence?] (Race 23).
According to the statistics, in the year 2008-09 alone, the federal government was able to spend $ 667 billion on the k-12 failing education. It can be compared to the year 2006-07 expenditure on the k-12 education, where estimates are that $553 billion dollars were spent on this program. In this year, there is also a $ 100 billion federal spending as a stimulus bill on education, which guarantees better improvement of the k-12 service delivery. It also aims at educating those who resist the effectiveness of the program (Levine and Dayal 45-56).
In the spirit to establish the Race to the Top, they targeted a number of reforms. Firstly, implementation of the rigorous k-12 education standards posed to a high quality design assessment. Its aim is to bring together the states in which the system applies by building academic standards that readily prepare students for college and career enhancement. It also looks forward to building critical thinking among scholars in their respective fields. Secondly, it aims at fostering the confidence in the education curriculum by ensuring that teachers remain in the classrooms. This is an efficient strategy in the sense that effective and proper utilization of teachers is taken care of. Also, this aims at improving the teachers’ facilitation and prior preparation. Besides, it ensures favorable compensation to teachers, as policy aiming at keeping the teachers in class. Lastly on this point, this aims at keeping and securing the confidence of teachers and basing them at where they are most talented to ensure maximum utility of their services and best rewards (Summers 111).
In addition, it was intended to support data systems, which aimed to impute decisions and encourage transfer of instructions. This has realized the need for data process and management, as a drive to instructions transfer that are intended to pass information from one medium to another, in this case, teachers to students. In such way, the tracking of information is easy and effective to various bodies and stakeholders involved in the system. Again, it has seen the “misery” of struggling schools. Therefore, the educational institutions should focus on innovation, creativity and effective management, and prioritizing Race to the Top in order to improve their performance indexes and averages. Lastly, it aims at demonstrating and improving the education system by sustaining educational reforms (Race 27). This is particularly beneficial as it will bring together business leaders, trustees and various stake-holders to boost students’ achievements and eliminate the widespread performance gaps. The most crucial part of this aim is that it focuses on expanding the support for high performance, especially for high-performing public failing charter schools (Race 33).
Now, in reality the k-12 education in America is “down to pieces”, and many of the students are losing the ground on career development. Various researches on the k-12 system in the American education system have proved that it is inadequate and unsupportive. According to these researches, the problem is not the schools or the teachers, but the system itself. The system is inadequate at every facet of it is operation (Levine and Dayal 45-56).
Most of the American students do not make it to graduation once they enroll for their various facilities. Some of these students do not finish up their programs, because nobody is behind to motivate them to do a hard work. In case of any problems on the way, they opt to drop out of school and try luck somewhere else as a way to support themselves. One of the reasons for the schools’ failure is that teachers lack motivation and morale. The movie “Bad Teacher” depicts how these teachers engage in other activities to get more money to support their lives. For instance, the main character is a teacher who dares enough to seduce other teachers in order to receive money. She goes further and steals an exam to help her students cheat so that she got a high grading. This is not genuine and is a bad moral example to her students.
The education in America is composed in such a way that those who triumph come from the privileged classes. From these perspectives, they have access to the best schools; they can have all the materials they require to comfortably do their assignments and homework. In case of research, they have enough funds to commit to their research work. This is unlike the students who come from poor family back-groups, who not only lack the knowledge and exposure encouragement, but also the relevant materials and funds to support themselves in their learning (Race 38).
In the US, the issue of race has been a controversy for a long time whereby, the Blacks are sidelined and discriminated by the Whites. In the situation, where the Whites cannot share something with the Blacks, there has seriously been a division even to the utility of social amenities. This is especially explicit in the education sector, where the children of the White people have their own schools, different and separated from the Blacks and the Asians, though the Whites and the Blacks share the same curriculum and examination. Since, Blacks and Asians two are subjected to different learning environment and different learning facilities, they tend to perform differently; dismally when compared with their peers from white schools, and, in this case, the White children tend to do well, since they have all the facilities (Race 43).
Another factor that has lead to poor performance among students is the issue of sex. The girls in schools have the tendency to drop out of schools before they graduate because of early engagement in social lifestyles. Various researches have cited that girls are more easily prone to sexual orientation than their male classmates in schools. Girls are more anxious to learn more new things and adventures than boys. Hence, as the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat, they are vulnerably caught in this vicious cycle of curiosity and do not end up completing their education to graduation (Levine and Dayal 50-66).
It is critically right that education somehow serves to reproduce power structures in society. For instance, there is a belief that in America, education has done more to the establishment of classes of people, than it has tried to narrow down the discrimination gap among individuals in society. After graduation, each of the graduates tends to move to his/her own way. After some time each of these students will build his/her own career, some will pursue to be lawyers, some teachers, and others doctors. This is particularly significant in the sense that some are not privileged enough to continue with their careers in spite of being capable to do so. They lag behind, and those from well off families will continue with their studies, hence, perpetuating a class of people in the society. This means that the poor will continue to be poor, while those who are from royal families will continue to enjoy the benefits of education (Race 50).
The main reason for the “Race to the Top” is the idea that it will reward only those states that raise their academic performance and qualification, improve the well fare of teachers and expand to the heights of a charter schools. This course will not be based on politics, social influence, or preference of a particular social class. This particularly aims at bringing various reforms in the education sectors, as a way of encouraging competition in the provision of the best services. According to president Barrack Obama, those states that embrace the reforms will be greatly rewarded (Levine and Dayal 79).
This idea has come with some effects. In result of the proposal, many states changed their policies in order to suit into the new idea, as a way of remaining at competitive edge. Examples include: Illinois allowed more charter schools than it had previously did; Massachusetts ensured that students from low-performing schools shift to charters; and West Virginia proposed a merit criterion, whereby it included student’s performance, by factoring in the compensation criteria. To ensure that the idea was on the right track to achievement, states adopted the value added modeling aimed at evaluating the teachers. Some of the states that did not adopt the value added criterion to change their laws for eligibility. The “Race to the Top” ensured that all states adopt the common standards for the k-12 failing schools (Race 23).
There have risen all sorts of criticisms in regard to the effectiveness of the Race to the Top. This criticism is well heard from the politicians, policy analysts, educators and leaders of education development and curriculum. They argue that the tests are inaccurate for teachers, since they have proved to be ineffective in the past. On the other hand, conservatives have said that it poses federal control of education on these schools. For instance, Texas refused to apply for the Race to the Top funding, arguing that they were not ready to place their children’s future in the hands of few bureaucrats and selfish interests groups that will draw their children away from Washington (Levine and Dayal 87).
The opinion on the ground is that reforms being pursued here are unproven, since they have proved to be unsuccessful in the past. For instance, the former secretary of education, Dianne Ravitch, said that completion and responsibility in utility of funds for education were not working anymore. This is the implication that draws away from distributing and ensuring federal support to states. This means that civil rights groups will come into play to fight for its existence and success. In such way, the economic policy will lose its meaning (Race 53). In conclusion, Race to the Top is vastly turning out to be the most successful of all the federal education programs ever established (Carey 1). People are now requesting the same for higher education.
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