Opinion
Education Opinion

Educational Change Starts With Equality

By Matthew Lynch — October 20, 2014 2 min read

Substantial educational change will never occur until we as a country decide that enough is enough and make a commitment to change, no matter what it takes. When America realizes all children deserve a stellar education regardless of who their parents are, their socioeconomic status or where they happen to live, we will be able to reform our education system. Specifically, Americans have to stop treating minority students in underperforming urban environments like collateral damage.

The disheartening reality is that America has billions of dollars to fight a two-front war, but cannot or will not properly educate its children. If a hostile country attacked the U. S., it would take less than 24 hours for American troops to be mobilized into battle. However, we seem unable to mobilize a sea of educated teachers and administrators to wage war against academic mediocrity, which is a bigger threat to our national security than Iran or North Korea.

Over the last century, many reform movements have come and gone, but in the end, it seems, there have been no substantial changes. Some might even believe the American educational system is now worse off than ever. That’s because the word “reform” is primarily used as campaign rhetoric, and when it comes time to take real action, the politicians simply unveil a grandiose plan with all the bells and whistles amounting to a dog and pony show. There has been a lot of talk about educating our kids, but not a lot of action. This is especially true when it comes to groups of at-risk or disenfranchised students.

America’s schools were originally intended to ensure that all citizens were literate but it seems today that in some districts, and for some students, even this concept is not taking place. When you add on the additional constraints of K-12 education today, it becomes quickly clear why some students fall through the cracks and are not able to achieve the type of education that should be a right for all American children.

Americans must have the courage to realize that in order for us to remain a world power, we must institute change. It is not enough for just some of our kids to succeed; each one must make it across the high school graduation stage, knowing what their peers also across the country also learned during the journey. The risks have never been greater: the future of our country and its children is at stake.

Education reform is possible, but it depends on what the nation is willing to do to achieve its educational goals. Will America develop and pass effective educational legislation aimed at creating viable solutions to the problem at hand? Or will America continue to develop legislation, such as No Child Left Behind, that operates under the fallacy that 100% of our students will be proficient in their core subjects? The bar for education should be set higher, but there has to be exceptions and differentiated goals in order to effectively accommodate all the differences among teachers, students, administrators, and school cultures.

Dr. Matthew Lynch is the author of the newly released textbook, The Call to Teach: An Introduction to Teaching. To order it via Amazon, please click on the following link.

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Washington Data Processing Representative - (WAVA)
Tacoma, Washington, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Proposal Writer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: February 3, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read