For almost two centuries, the American educational system has been founded on the belief that all citizens have the right to an education. This guiding philosophy has contributed to increased educational opportunities for women, persecuted minorities, and communities in general across the world. As the rest of the world embraces American thought, America is losing this essential concept and separating education between the affluent, who can afford it, and the rest of the country, who will not.
In the technical fields of science and engineering, American education has been on the decline for decades. Technical secondary schools and for-profit colleges were established to solve these inadequacies. They encouraged pupils who were not interested in further study to seek technical professions and higher education. Students who had previously refused to participate in a learning process were suddenly drawn in. In vocational technical courses and for-profit technical institutes, students who couldn’t get by were suddenly getting A’s and B’s.
Today, an increasing number of successful students actively participating in higher education come from these two fields of education. Vocational schools and for-profit universities are meant to encourage students to pursue technical occupations, and they generally lack the liberal arts education that comes with regular degrees. There has long been a debate about whether students should be channelled into particular and highly restricted technical educational streams, or if all students should be required to pursue a more generalist education that would lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Despite the fact that this debate has raged for decades, the impact of vocational training and for-profit technical schools cannot be overlooked. They have effectively transitioned a huge portion of the populace into technological employment. However, in recent months, the Department of Education has began to question the schools’ effectiveness, claiming that they cannot guarantee that their graduates would be able to achieve income requirements established to demonstrate the success of American education and the funds spent on these programmes. In response to the economic depression that our society is presently experiencing and the Department of Education’s policies, vocational schools and secondary education are being closed across the country.
The federal government is cutting financing for vocational training and technical education rather than addressing the more challenging question of how to combine conventional and technical fields of education into an unified educational system.
We are reducing students’ ability to obtain the education loans necessary to pay for their education at a time when the administration and the business community recognise the need for a stronger commitment to technical education across the country because we have a fundamental disagreement about whether there should be more general education in English, literature, and the arts, and less a single-minded focus on a narrow technical field. This appears to be a pointless debate, as both are attempting to educate the American population in order to compete in the marketplace of the future. This is happening at the same time as a new study shows that a college degree improves all students, regardless of their field, general education, or a specific technical area. Rather of expanding on that foundation to encourage students across the country to seek higher education, our attention has shifted to students’ capacity to repay bank loans as the only criterion for whether or not the degree was beneficial. The department of education’s proposed standard accomplishes this.
It concentrates its efforts on ensuring that students can earn enough money to repay their debts, rather than addressing the reasons for the steep rise in education expenses. Their main goal is to ensure that students pay back their loans. We’re forcing American students out of the educational system by arguing that their ability to repay a bank is the single determining factor in the quality of their education, as businesses argue that they need to import more foreign workers to meet the growing technical demand of the high tech industry. This would not be so ludicrous if it weren’t for another current phenomenon in elementary schools around the country.
For wealthy families, there is an increasing demand for for-profit private preschools to educate their children for selective institutions that accept just a small number of American kids each year. This for-profit model for elementary and secondary schools is gaining popularity in the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. Wealthy parents are willing to pay up to $40,000 a year to enrol their children in preparatory schools that will prepare them for prominent institutions. A handful of private investors are currently putting up as much as $200 million to establish these for-profit organisations. As the gap between haves and have-nots in education continues to widen, it is a growing sector with a rising market both in the United States and internationally.
These parents have little trust in the country’s public school system. They are entrusting their money and their children to for-profit institutions that they feel will better prepare them to compete in tomorrow’s highly technology environment. When Madison Avenue and the American financial system discover a new profitable market, they will exploit it as totally and completely as they have done with the old American education system, to the detriment of society as a whole. Education in our nation is increasingly becoming a tool of banks and the affluent, rather than what the founding fathers or the countless men and women who helped build this country over many centuries envisioned. It no longer serves the public interest and instead focuses on the demands of the rich and financial institutions, for whom profit is the sole reason for their existence.
Education in our nation is increasingly becoming a tool of banks and the affluent, rather than what the founding fathers or the countless men and women who helped build this country over many centuries envisioned. It no longer serves the public interest and instead focuses on the demands of the rich and financial institutions, for whom profit is the sole reason for their existence.
While the rest of the world adopts the American model of an educational system that is the envy of the world, we reject it in favour of a system that will not benefit the nation or society. If we continue along this path, our country will be perpetually reliant on other nations’ educational institutions to offer the technical know-how and inventive thinking that will propel the globe and civilization ahead. In one breath, our nation’s department of education tells us that for-profit institutions do not work and that graduates from these institutions at any level should be regarded with suspicion, while at the same time, this same model is being implemented at grade schools and elementary schools across the country because there is a growing need for a better education system to meet tomorrow’s standards. However, much of American society is left out of this expanding demand. If we continue on this route, only the rich will be able to obtain an education in our nation.