Most people are probably aware of the term “dumbing down of America.” Indeed, it often does seem that way: it seems that television and other media continue to promote less thinking and more complacency, which leads to fewer and fewer people using their brains.
But while it is easy to blame the media for distracting many from the more important things in the world, it may not be quite so easy to also blame the American public school system.
And the American public school system has long been a target of criticism. Sure, it is often easy to determine a wide gap in test scores and success rates between private schools and public schools. But what most people probably don’t realize that public education continues to work, even without the large amounts of money that private education organizations are able to foster.
While you might be able to find a news story about failing schools or underperforming student populations any given day of the week, though, the truth of the matter is that education is still making good on its promises.
According to stats from the Council of Great City Schools, student test scores are on the steady rise; and, more importantly, that this trend is appearing in the country’s largest urban school districts. On the heels of these test scores, too, the US Department of Education says that graduation rates have reached new heights: 82 percent!
Perhaps the most interesting of the recently collected data is the stats which show that the most successful schools are those which are most integrated. Sure, students with higher levels of melanin in their skin might struggle in “traditional” schools, but studies show that the more integrated the school, apparently, the better off all students are (but, particularly, black and Latino students).
Of course, this also relates to funding issues. Other studies show that schools with more money are able to create more opportunities, obviously, and so collectively, these studies suggest that one thing America really needs is better leadership when it comes to education funding. If these integrated schools are going to succeed, they will need more people to lead the charge in distributing funding to more of these integrated schools.