Social Issues in Education
"The educational system is part if the common life and
cannot escape suffering the consequences that flow from conditions prevailing
outside the school building."
What are the aims of education today?
President Clinton signed into law
the Goals 2000: Educate America
By the year 2000,the following goals were to be
SEC. 102. NATIONAL EDUCATION GOALS.
The Congress declares that
the National Education Goals are the following:
(1) SCHOOL READINESS.--
(A) By the year 2000, all children in America will start school
ready to learn.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--
(i) all children will have access to high-quality and
developmentally appropriate preschool programs that help prepare
children for school;
(ii) every parent in the United States will be
a child's first teacher and devote time each day to helping such
parent's preschool child learn, and parents will have access to the
training and support parents need; and
(iii) children will receive
the nutrition, physical activity experiences, and health care needed to
arrive at school with healthy minds and bodies, and to maintain the
mental alertness necessary to be prepared to learn, and the number of
low-birthweight babies will be significantly reduced through enhanced
prenatal health systems.
(2) SCHOOL COMPLETION.--
(A) By the year 2000, the high school graduation rate will
increase to at least 90 percent.
(B) The objectives for this goal
(i) the Nation must dramatically reduce its school dropout
rate, and 75 percent of the students who do drop out will successfully
complete a high school degree or its equivalent; and
(ii) the gap
in high school graduation rates between American students from
minority backgrounds and their non-minority counterparts will be
(3) STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND CITIZENSHIP.--
(A) By the year 2000, all students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12
having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter including
English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government,
economics, arts, history, and geography, and every school in America
will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well, so they may
be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and
productive employment in our Nation's modern economy.
objectives for this goal are that--
(i) the academic performance of all students at the elementary
and secondary level will increase significantly in every quartile, and
the distribution of minority students in each quartile will more
closely reflect the student population as a whole;
percentage of all students who demonstrate the ability to reason,
solve problems, apply knowledge, and write and communicate effectively
will increase substantially;
(iii) all students will be involved
in activities that promote and demonstrate good citizenship, good
health, community service, and personal responsibility;
students will have access to physical education and health education
to ensure they are healthy and fit;
(v) the percentage of all
students who are competent in more than one language will
substantially increase; and
(vi) all students will be
knowledgeable about the diverse cultural heritage of this Nation and
about the world community.
(4) TEACHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.--
(A) By the year 2000, the Nation's teaching force will have
access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional
skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed
to instruct and prepare all American students for the next century.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--
(i) all teachers will have access to preservice teacher
education and continuing professional development activities that
will provide such teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to
teach to an increasingly diverse student population with a variety
of educational, social, and health needs;
(ii) all teachers will
have continuing opportunities to acquire additional knowledge and
skills needed to teach challenging subject matter and to use
emerging new methods, forms of assessment, and technologies;
(iii) States and school districts will create integrated
strategies to attract, recruit, prepare, retrain, and support the
continued professional development of teachers, administrators, and
other educators, so that there is a highly talented work force of
professional educators to teach challenging subject matter; and
(iv) partnerships will be established, whenever possible, among
local educational agencies, institutions of higher education,
parents, and local labor, business, and professional associations to
provide and support programs for the professional development of
(5) MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE.--
(A) By the year 2000, United States students will be first in
the world in mathematics and science achievement.
objectives for this goal are that--
(i) mathematics and science education, including the metric
system of measurement, will be strengthened throughout the system,
especially in the early grades;
(ii) the number of teachers with
a substantive background in mathematics and science, including the
metric system of measurement, will increase by 50 percent; and
(iii) the number of United States undergraduate and graduate
students, especially women and minorities, who complete degrees in
mathematics, science, and engineering will increase significantly.
(6) ADULT LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING.--
(A) By the year 2000, every adult American will be
literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to
compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and
responsibilities of citizenship.
(B) The objectives for this goal
(i) every major American business will be involved in
strengthening the connection between education and work;
all workers will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and
skills, from basic to highly technical, needed to adapt to emerging
new technologies, work methods, and markets through public and
private educational, vocational, technical, workplace, or other
(iii) the number of quality programs, including those
at libraries, that are designed to serve more effectively the needs
of the growing number of part-time and midcareer students will
(iv) the proportion of the qualified
students, especially minorities, who enter college, who complete at
least two years, and who complete their degree programs will
(v) the proportion of college graduates
who demonstrate an advanced ability to think critically, communicate
effectively, and solve problems will increase substantially; and
(vi) schools, in implementing comprehensive parent involvement
programs, will offer more adult literacy, parent training and
life-long learning opportunities to improve the ties between home
and school, and enhance parents' work and home lives.
(7) SAFE, DISCIPLINED, AND ALCOHOL- AND DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS.--
(A) By the year 2000, every school in the United States will
be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of
firearms and alcohol and will offer a disciplined environment
conducive to learning.
(B) The objectives for this goal are
(i) every school will implement a firm and fair policy on
use, possession, and distribution of drugs and alcohol;
parents, businesses, governmental and community organizations will
work together to ensure the rights of students to study in a safe
and secure environment that is free of drugs and crime, and that
schools provide a healthy environment and are a safe haven for all
(iii) every local educational agency will develop
and implement a policy to ensure that all schools are free of
violence and the unauthorized presence of weapons;
local educational agency will develop a sequential, comprehensive
kindergarten through twelfth grade drug and alcohol prevention
(v) drug and alcohol curriculum should be
taught as an integral part of sequential, comprehensive health
(vi) community-based teams should be organized to
provide students and teachers with needed support; and
every school should work to eliminate sexual harassment.
(8) PARENTAL PARTICIPATION --
(A) By the year 2000, every school will promote partnerships
that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting
the social, emotional, and academic growth of children.
objectives for this Goal are that--
(i) every State will develop policies to assist local schools
and local educational agencies to establish programs for increasing
partnerships that respond to the varying needs of parents and the
home, including parents of children who are disadvantaged or
bilingual, or parents of children with disabilities;
school will actively engage parents and families in a partnership
which supports the academic work of children at home and shared
educational decisionmaking at school; and
(iii) parents and
families will help to ensure that schools are adequately supported
and will hold schools and teachers to high standards of
The purpose of schools is to educate. In 1994
President Clinton signed into law The Goals 2000 Educate America Act, a set of
eight national goals. By the year 2000, these goals were to be accomplished.
These goals were not met. In February of 1999 the National Education Goals Panel
acknowledged this. They renamed the National Goals as "America's Education
Goals". Educators are striving to meet these goals today.
Activity 1 for 3.1 (Label your paper this way, or you will not get
1. What is the purpose of schools?
2. Do you think that the Goals
2000 can eventually be reached? Are they realistic?
3. Goals 2000 was
developed in 1989, and revised in 1996. Thirty-eight "resource people"
were invited and only one was a teacher. How do you feel about that?
The public feels that along with teaching
academics, schools should teach values, such as honesty, patriotism, fairness,
Schools are places where young people are
socialized. Students learn about diversity.
For most people, the primary purpose of schools is to impart
to students the academic knowledge and skills to prepare them for college or
work. Schools teach academic content.
To enable the student to be all that they can be.
Emphasis on personal growth puts the student first and society second.
Schools provide students with the skills to improve
society, and how to deal with a rapid social change. An example of this is
teaching through service learning.
Evidence exists that certain groups in the
United States society are denied equality of opportunity economically, socially
and educationally. The goal of providing equal educational opportunity for all
has long been distinguished in the United States.
The following was taken for the Broward County Schools website:
We know that families have the primary responsibility for teaching
character, and we are not trying to replace the role of the family in a
child's life. Our school system, like many others across the country, is
responding to the community's renewed interest in developing positive
character traits in our young people.
After extensive public involvement, the School Board of Broward County,
Florida has adopted eight character traits that will be infused throughout
our curriculum and student activities: Responsibility (October),
Citizenship (November), Kindness (December), Respect (January), Honesty
(February), Self-control (March), Tolerance (April) and Cooperation (May).
Just look at today's culture and it's obvious that one of the best ways
to influence a child's behavior is through an adult role model. That is a
key part of this new initiative - having respected adults model good
character. When students, staff and community members model these traits,
it is easier to provide quality education in a safe and secure learning
If you would like to request a copy of the suggested activity sheets
developed for each Character Trait,
Activity 2 Modular 3.1 (Label your assignment correctly)
1. Come up with three values that you are in favor of teaching in
school. How will they be taught?
2. Are these values taught in your classroom? How? Could they be
taught? Elaborate on your answer.
Aims of education-what society believes the broad, general purpose
of education should be-for example, socialization, achievement, personal growth,
and social improvement.
Goals 2000: Educate America Act-a comprehensive funding program
to help schools achieve a set of eight national goals emphasizing student
achievement, effective learning environments, professional development for
teachers, and parental involvement.
Prosocial values-values such as honesty, patriotism, fairness, and
civility that promote the well being of a society.
Service learning-an approach to teaching in which students
participate in community-based service activities then reflect on the meaning of