American Public Education: How are we Doing?

American Public Education: How are we Doing?

Elissa-Kaitlyn Gold, Gr. 9

Should the American education system change? The US educational system includes elementary, intermediate, and high school. The system teaches the main core subjects Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.  Extra curriculum courses depend on your school. The current educational system does its best to provide for diverse students, and considering the budget, the education that is being taught is decent. 

The public system provides equity of education to all types of students. In America, the public education system provides education to all citizens despite ethnicities, backgrounds. In addition, the government has been trying to improve equality and diversity in the educational system. The state came out with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is an act that requires the public system to cater to children who are lagging behind because of their background in finances and race (“Why We Still Need Public Schools”). While the education system does have its faults, creating a system that is accessible to all people is something to be proud of! 

Considering our budget the educational system is decent.  In the United States, the public education system gets its income from GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The funding of public schools in the US is about $94.29 billion or $1,860 per pupil(“U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics”). This is the budget that schools get to pay for curriculum, the electricity in your buildings, anything that breaks in the school, and any other school-related costs.  While this might seem like a lot of money it is not nearly enough to supply every single need for every single student, but it still is providing an education to more than 76 million students (“More Than 76 Million Students Enrolled in U.S. Schools, Census Bureau Reports”).  The last thing to consider is that in the US public schools are free! The education that is being taught has minimal cost to the students or parents, which is why the budget we get and the education being taught is not as bad as people make it seem. Even children who don’t grow up in a well-off community can still gain an education, which I think is something that is often overlooked. 


The education that is being taught currently is what the students show they deserve. From 2018- 2019 SAT scores have gone down from 1068 to 1059 (“Digest of Educational Statistics”). This shows that there has been no growth in students’ learning. What is the SAT’ though? The  SAT  tests the amount of math and writing skills students have gained while in school. Now the fact that the scores went down is not a big deal. It’s the fact that the scores are so low. The highest score possible is 1600, but American students are not even reaching the bare minimum for college acceptance. (“What’s a Good SAT Score?”). This brings up the problem of how students lack the motivation to try. The educational system gives the resources to teach students what they need to be learning. It’s not the responsibility of the system to individually make sure every student is paying attention in class or turns in their assignments on time. If we want a better education then as students we need to start showing we deserve it. Currently, we are showing that we’re okay with doing the bare minimum, so we’re getting the bare minimum back. Effort is equal to outcome.

The public education system needs to change in America and here’s why. Here are a few of the main issues the public systems need to change. The first one is the old-fashioned way of teaching. As times change students are in need of new innovative ways of teaching. The students also need more encouragement rather than discouragement since mental health issues have been rampant. The public system needs to come up with a new system to engage and excite students about learning.  Another problem is the overcrowding of schools. Public systems are having a hard time providing quality education to every student. The overcrowding of students gives less time to teachers to help a student who is falling behind (“The 18 Reasons the U.S. Education System Is Failing”).

The U.S. public system in America does have its issues, however, could these problems be because of the mindset students in the U.S. have. In an overview of statistics in immigrational education, there has been an increase of immigrants who have moved to America and have gained an education. The increase in immigrants with college degrees is 75 percent higher than Americans with college degrees (“College-Educated Immigrants in the United States”). This shows how much effort students in America are really putting in. Now looking at graduation rates it is increasing for public school systems and decreasing for private school systems (“Projections of Educational Statistics to 2021”).  Showing that students have the material to learn. They are choosing not to use it. This proves even if there is overcrowding of students there are students who are willing to put in the effort to understand the material being taught and can succeed. With this being said, it is not to dismiss mental health issues as it is a big problem but school is oftentimes not the source of the problem. The uprising of mental health issues in students has a lot to do with the excessive use of social media. (“Social Media and Mental Health”).  As well as the fact, there is more awareness of mental health nowadays than there was back then. It cannot just be a change in the way teachers are being taught and teaching, the number of students there are, or even in the budget, the system gets. The change needs to start within the students themselves because if they cannot advocate for themselves and if they are not willing to put in the work to change, it turns into a waste of time and energy that could be used elsewhere. The U.S.  Public Education System shall remain the way it is because first off the budget given to our system is still able to provide an education to a diverse amount of students, and students lack the incentive to do better. So as a student prove your worth. Force the government to look at students with importance so they can expand our budget giving a better curriculum to learn. Start learning ways to change how the world looks at American students because currently there’s nothing compelling. All the big changes in the world started with one small change, so be the small change. The change for better education starts with you. 



“Why We Still Need Public Schools”.  Public Education for the Common Good, 

“U.S. Public Education Spending Statistics”. Education Data Initiative, 02/08/2021, 

“More Than 76 Million Students Enrolled in U.S. Schools, Census Bureau Reports”. 

“Digest of Educational Statistics”. National Center for Education Statistics, 

“What’s a Good SAT Score?”. U.S. News & World Report, 12/10/2020, 

“The 18 Reasons the U.S. Education System Is Failing”. The Edvocate, 04/03/2017, 

“College-Educated Immigrants in the United States”. Migration Policy Institute, 09/16/2020, 

“Projections of Educational Statistics to 2021”. National Center for Educational Statistics, 

“Social Media and Mental Health”. HelpGuide, 10/2021,