Romance of Educational Elements. Ryan Garcia Eng 1311 University of Texas at El Paso. Introduction.
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My theory of education stands at a pivotal juncture of whether education promotes a great education for all students, one that is practical, but perhaps, education is just a system converged into so many others systems that it becomes a mundane transaction of paper and knowledge.
During my research of secondary education I found a variety of answers, all conjuring towards one sole solution, leading me to believe that secondary education is distorted by district policy and testing mandates. I will be answering questions regarding secondary education, specifically in El Paso, Texas, within the Socorro Independent School District (SISD).
First, the U.S. department collects data and makes recommendations at the national and state levels, but cannot interfere directly with school standards or programs. The federal government does not does not determine with what a student should or should not know in a subject at any grade of school, this ability has been given to the states and their local administrations.
The second level is state, which regulate the academic community through school boards. The schools board is able to select school days, which classes are mandatory for graduation, how long a school day is.
The third level is the school itself, which create curriculum guidelines, specific decisions, what textbooks are required and classroom instructions, all of which are decided by educators and school administrators
Standards represent established levels of achievement and of academic subject content, which are both embodied in state curriculum guidelines. The National Council of Education believe that formulating national standards will embolden states to raise their own standards and may improve the quality of the schools. Many argue that national standards will detract from positive local reform and deter the development of initiatives at the state level.
In 1989, the National Council of Teachers published curriculum standards outlining the type of math that should be administered into school programs. The council did not stem from the U.S. department of education, but grew from a collection of local experts, scientists, and educators within a state controlled district. This form of standard is called voluntary national standard, which is a standard for what should be taught in a particular subject that would most benefit the district, schools, and students.
All children in the U.S. will start school ready to learn.
The High school graduation rate will increase to 90%.
U.S. students in grades 4, 8, and 12 must demonstrate competency in challenging subject matters, including English, mathematics, science, foreign language, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.
The Nation’s teaching force will have access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to instruct and prepare all students for the next century.
States have formulated curriculum frameworks, or guidelines to improve schools and school districts in providing students with an effective education. The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skill was inserted into Texas schools in 1999. The 76th Session of the Texas Legislature enacted Senate Bill 103, mandating implementation of a new statewide testing program.
By law, all eligible Texas public school students are assessed in mathematics, reading, writing, English language arts, science, and social studies. The TAKS test is designed to measure the extent to which a student has learned and is able to apply the defined knowledge and skills at each tested grade level.
According to him, the “TAKS was the mandate and law of the state; if you did not abide by it the funding would disappear. It was the scores that brought in state funding.” Mr. Garcia implies that public schools rely on state funding, which since about ten years ago had not appeared as TAKS, but as normally funded allowance. Public schools need to constantly increase their scores or be reduced financing. Mr. Garcia also motions that schools “have no choice…they must admit the test and successfully reach a certain bar the state has set for the students.”
“The stakeholders [students] are the ones affected if there is a decrease in funding; lower funding means smaller classroom and less opportunity.” Mr. Garcia raises an important point: when it comes down to the source of the matter, especially in education, it is the students that matter most. We are the “stakeholders” because we hold the cards, while the state holds the cash and deals ours cards.
I conclude that secondary education is a passion and love for teaching, which is genuine. Skills and knowledge will only be used to guide students for better results on the TAKS or any other state examination.
I believe that educators should have the freedom to teach as they wish and, if only, be merely burdened with state examination; most of all, the students should be the ones with the greatest say in the matter of public education.
My research had answered many questions but still offers more discussion; it all depends on where a perspective stands: Do you support the TAKS or not? Do you believe in modern standardized education or traditional, “old-fashioned”, education?