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Education Reform

About Education Reform

"School Choice Leaves Equality Behind," cartoon by Jesse SpringerAccording to numerous studies, American students have fallen behind many other Western democracies in educational achievement since World War II. Where US schoolchildren once achieved high marks in math, science, and reading, they are now closer to average—and in the case of math, below average—when compared to other industrialized nations. This has prompted a concerted effort to reform the American school system in a way that improves basic proficiency across the entire spectrum of core subjects. However, the real-world consequences of school reform have led to new problems and criticisms even as the old problems largely remain. In 2002, President George W. Bush enacted the No Child Left Behind Act in an attempt to improve the quality of education in US public schools. (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Has the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 been a benefit or hinderance for American education?
  • Is public education still in need of extensive reform?
  • Would a longer school year be a benefit or detrimental in improving public education?
  • Is the American family no longer a factor in the education of its own children?
  • Does the teaching profession need improvement? How can this be done?
  • Are private schools still a better option over public schools?
  • Should the school day or school year be lengthened?
  • Do teachers' unions block or encourage meaningful education reform?
  • Can innovative programs like Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone or Steve Perry's Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, CT be replicated in other cities?
  • Is merit pay for teachers effective in increasing student success? Teacher/faculty morale?
  • What has been the impact on standardized testing and public schools in the state of Florida in its decision to switch from the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) to the FSA (Florida Standards Assessment)?