The Downfall of Educational Expectations

Essay by sohappymamaA+, December 2007

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The Downfall of Educational Expectations

"America Skips School" by Benjamin R. Barber and "Back to Basics: Test Scores Don't Lie" by Diane Ravitch are essays by accomplished authors examining the condition of Americas educational system. The main theme of both essays are a criticism of the public school system in America. While both authors have different objections and problems with the system, both clearly feel that there needs to be major changes.

Barber, in "America Skips School", makes a very compelling concise argument of how the entire system is in crisis. Between low expectations, underpaid teachers, the mindset of consumerism being all invasive, and the fact that America simply doesn't care about quality education, America is slipping to shockingly low standards. Barber aptly points out the fact that we as a society take our democratic privileges in America , which should cause us to reach for excellence, for granted. It takes educated informed citizens to keep an democratic society running.

Barber best points this out by saying" Jefferson and Adams both understood that the Bill of Rights offered little protection in a nation without informed citizens. Once educated, however, a people was safe from even the subtlest tyrannies." (Barber,19). America was founded on an idyllic dream that succeeded. Unfortunately, this success is not being

Barber places the guilt on our society as a whole. Education is not given the credence it deserves . we are a nation that has become accustomed to instant gratification. The very things that will create long term excellence and security for our country is being ignored in favor of the pursuit of frivolous materialism and entertainment

Ravitch, while agreeing with our standards demise, looks at it with a different point of view. She mainly addresses the actual social values in school. This includes the discrepancy...