Several changes can be made in the education system. For example, no smoking policies for teachers and administrators should be implemented, and healthy foods should be served in school cafeterias. School policies governing discipline can be changed, prayer can be reinstituted, and bilingual programs can be implemented. Changes to sexual harassment policies can also be made. But why can’t we make sweeping changes in the system?
A social change that changes the way people think and act takes time. A revolution, a new policy, or a mass awakening are all necessary prerequisites. But change in the education system is no easy task. It is a huge entity comprised of thousands of schools, each one representing a microcosm of our hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals. And it requires a lot of energy and momentum to achieve a major change.
In America, the educational system stresses grades and test scores above everything else. It focuses on a student’s GPA rather than the learning process, preventing students from focusing on the things that will improve their lives. Many critics believe that standardized testing has become one of the biggest problems in American education. It can lead to a teach-to-the-test approach, and diminish attention to non-tested subjects.
One way to change the education system is to make changes in the policy and structure. School committees and superintendents often work in partnership to implement policy changes. Any policy change that affects more than one school must be approved by the school committee. Fortunately, the majority of school committees and superintendents value the advice of the school committee when making big changes. But in some cases, policies can be changed without the approval of the school committee.