Over the last few years, democrats and republicans are trying to revitalize American educational system in different manners. Bush introduced the No Child Left Behind or NCLB policy in 2001 whereas Obama introduced Race to the Top or RTT in 2009. …
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In other words both democrats and republicans are equally aware of the problems in present American education systems. However, neither NCLB nor RTT seems to be addressing the real issues in American educational sector. Around 4.35 billion dollar allocated to United States Department of Education to implement RTT successfully. RTT aims to implement drastic changes in the K-12 educational system in America. The quality of American education is getting diminished as time goes on and Obama wants to improve it as much as possible. However Obama’s RTT system seems to be generating mixed reaction among the public. Some people believe it as a conscious and sincere effort by president Obama to improve the educational standards in America whereas others are of the view that it may not yield the desired goals. This paper analyses whether American educational system is in trouble or not, because of RTT.
The Obama Administration unveiled its new “Race to the Top” initiative in which it will use the lure of $4.35 billion in federal cash to induce states to improve their K-12 schools. Four billion dollars is a lot of money, but it’s a tiny percentage of what the U.S. spends on education. The Department of Education estimates that the U.S. as a whole spent $667 billion on K-12 education in the 2008-09 school year alone, up from $553 billion in 2006-07 (Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ Who’ll blink first: the unions, or the White House?)
Moreover, after the introduction of RTT, the school funding amount has been increased considerably. Earlier, the educational funds were allotted to all the states in a standardized manner. Only the number of schools, number of students etc were considered while deciding the funding amount to each state. States distributed the money to all schools irrespective of their performances. Schools on the other hand spent majority of such money in nonproductive sectors and failed to achieve the objectives of school funding before the introduction of RTT. Obama believes that the problem in American school education is the improper usage of funding rather than the shortage of funding. So, he wanted to avoid the wastage of school funding money in the nonproductive sectors and implemented RTT for that. The second problem associated with RTT is the blaming of teachers for the under achievements of American schools. Obama administration believes that the current teachers in America are underperforming because of lack of accountability. In order to raise the standards of teaching RTT proposes promotions based on performances rather than experiences. In other words, teachers with 30 or 40 years of services will be denied promotions whereas teachers with even 3 to 5 years’ experience may get promotions. Teachers with 30 or 40 years of experience will never like to work under a superior with fewer years of experience. It is difficult for the experienced teachers to adjust or adapt with the current trends in teaching and learning. New generation of teachers may well adjust with new trends and they will get promotions easily. “School choice is anathema to the nation’s
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