Dear American Education, What’s Your Problem?

By Emma Bessinger, Reporter

Education in America is broken in many aspects and is becoming a main topic in many discussions. Obtaining the correct information on the challenges is important for everyone contributing to the system. (i.e. taxpayers, parents, and students). The heated arguments made by differing perceptions, ignorance, or passion make these problems hard to solve. The only solution is the American people inputting their knowledge and fighting the broken system.


School shootings are killing adolescents left and right, but nothing is being done to stop them. No gun reform, no help for mentally ill, or “outcast” students. Fifty-seven percent of American students fear a mass shooting at their school(NEA). The “solution” to the problem is for teachers to carry concealed firearms, a solution debunked by the National Education Association (NEA), who says the environment would be less safe, as they could cause more accidents/fear.


Students spend eight hours a day at school, waking up at the crack of dawn just to be present. This results in sleep-deprived students being unable to focus or remember their lessons. A student who is physically present but absent-minded is the same as a student that is absent altogether.

Along with waking up early, teens go to bed late. Either due to needed relaxation or homework. So, when students get home from school, they have more school. Taking time from themselves, and giving it to the schools.


The bigger the class size, the fewer individuals learn. Teachers become ineffective when classrooms exceed capacity, at a time where students need individual attention to succeed, the need cannot be met.

Real Life

Graduation day- when students walk out their high school doors for the last time. All is well, right? They had been taught how to succeed after schooling? Wrong. Students leave school clueless on subjects like taxes, credit, loans, debt, and American economics. Instead, they are taught equations, formulas, chemistry, etc. 

Some schools have classes for the real world, but most don’t.


Odds are you have heard “don’t become a teacher, you won’t get paid much” at least once in your life. This makes the future generation wary of becoming a teacher. The saying, sadly, stands true.  American teachers aren’t paid well, and cannot unlock their full potential, with low-quality supplies or near poverty level payments.

Teachers are quitting their jobs at a rapid pace, due to the lack of funds. The teachers that stay have their hands tied and can only provide bare minimum education. Teachers are a big influence on the younger generation, so if they hate their job, students will too, making school a distasteful place.

Technology and Innovation

Cell-phones, the enemy of the teacher. This foe can turn to a friend if educators found a balance. For example, Greenwood High has had a relaxed phone policy for two years, this has lead to a distraction. The “solution” towards this problem is a cell-phone lockdown, where students put their phones in pouches for the school days.

This will not work but will create resentment towards administrators, from students because it feels like a violation of their property. The true resolution would be a crackdown of inappropriate phone usage. To punish the whole student body is asinine. Instead, target the few who violate the rules and let rule-following students live.

Phones are our life-line to communicate with friends, family, and work. Phones educate us and entertain us. If technology was incorporated into the classroom in a fun, yet educational way, students would be less likely to violate the phone policy.

Pressure, Grades, and Homework

Since childhood, we are told to work hard in school so you can go to a good college. Striving for good grades rather than actually learning. The expectations of K-12 students are high, leading to depression when failing or anxiety about schooling. Students sacrifice sleep, relaxation, and personal time to make their college applications stand out.

Grades are meaningless. A student who strives to learn always pays the price with grades, while a student who simply memorizes the curriculum succeeds in the class. Achievement does not equal attitude. The grading system should be altered to include students who try and fail, along with students who try and succeed.

Homework, we all hate(d) it. Going off of the second point of this article, students rarely have time to complete it, or sacrifice parts of their own lives to do so. If a student-athlete has practice from after-school till 8:30-9:00 p.m., they have very little time to eat, shower, and sleep, much less complete homework. There should be no need for an adolescent to endanger their well being for the school system. 

A student falls asleep in class. The teacher wakes them up to tell them “sleeping is for home, this is school.” Why is there no home at school, when school follows students’ home?