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5 Issues in Education Today

Essay by   •  February 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,909 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,318 Views

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Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment has been around for many years, even centuries. Many schools allowed corporal punishment, but is it necessary to us it in public schools? Can it be taken too far?

Up until the 60s and 70s, corporal punishment was a natural thing in schools and as court sentences. It wasn't until the later part of the century that parents began to complain about the treatment of their children. Many parents believe that there are other options of punishment and discipline that schools can use. There have been cases where students were severely punished for ridiculous reasons, such as kissing or cuddling with someone of the opposite sex.

Fortunately, for all the parents that disagree with corporal punishment, so does the government because very few schools practice it anymore. In 1988, nine states barred corporal punishment for schools in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, and California. Many people believe that corporal punishment signals to the child that the way to settle personal problems is through violence and pain and they may resort to it themselves. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that corporal punishment may affect a student's self image and could cause them to have disruptive and violent behavior.

There are many alternatives to corporal punishment in schools, such as in school suspension, detention, and other such punishments. Also teachers are urged to use behavior contracts, use positive reinforcement or appropriate behavior, and encourage disciplinary consequences, which are meaningful to students. But the school should be able to provide the students with social skills training and individualized and group counseling.

Is corporal punishment bad or good? I believe that the parents should have the option of the way that they would like the school to handle it. My personal opinion is from a personal experience. My parents gave the school the right to spank me and trust me that was enough of a threat to me! I knew that I had to behave or I would get a spanking at school, and again once I got home from my mom and dad. If a teacher ever said to me, "you're getting time out or you're getting a mark in your folder," that did nothing for me, but the minute they said "spanking" I straightened up. Corporal punishment made me want to do good and not get in trouble. I do see some truth in some of the opposing opinion. In the end, I think it should be the parent's choice.

Standardized Testing

Is standardized testing beneficial to our nation's children? Standardized tests are made to judge a child's intelligence in order to place them at certain levels in school. Couldn't teachers do the same job, being around students for the school year should enable him or her to judge the levels of intelligences? Everyone should know the benefits and the downfalls in order to understand the necessity.

Some of the benefits of standardized testing are that they evaluate the school programs and teachers. This ensures that all students gain the best knowledge from the best teachers and available programs. Standardized testing also documents a student's progress throughout the year, allowing teachers to know what areas a particular student has strengths and/or weaknesses in. Also by knowing a students level of skills it will give them the chance to be involved in special programs or groups, and eventually good scores on the tests will ensure a high school diploma or other such certificates. When a student does well on the SATs or TAAS/TAKS, it allows them the chance to be accepted into college, to be eligible for financial aid, and also exempts them from having to take other placement tests at the college level.

Even though there are many beneficial effects of standardized tests, many people express different opinions. Many students say that when in high school taking the TAAS/TAKS to much emphasis was placed on the test instead of on regular classroom instruction and class work. The students are pressure because if they don't pass this single test then they will not advance to the next grade and/or their graduation can be postponed. It doesn't matter that they have made all A's in their regular work, if they can't pass the test then they simply get left behind. Many of the items studied for the TAAS/TAKS are things the students already know, and the practices become very boring and monotonous causing the children to rush through the test and not pay attention to what they are doing. Some people even mention that standardized tests are good for some things, but not for all things. The tests shouldn't be able to determine whether or not a student will pass or fail a certain grade or whether or not they will be able to graduate with the students they have grown up with. These tests should instead be used to measure averages and for studying growth and development,

So are standardized tests beneficial to us? As a student who has been through many years of these tests and as a student who one day will be a teacher I believe that these tests are beneficial from some things and not for others. The way the state has set up the testing and has required teachers to "teach to the test" scares me and has now made me not want to teach any grade above second so that I can truly teach my children. I feel that these tests are an useful tool in measuring growth and knowledge, but I don't feel they should determine the placement of a child in a certain grade level.

Uniforms

For many years there has been much debating about dress codes and uniforms. The question of whether or not we should have uniforms in public school arises more frequently now than ever. Most people believe that uniforms would be beneficial because they would stop the name brand competition between children and it would also keep children from wearing inappropriate outfits.

Some people argue that uniforms would help with the name brand competition that kids in school deal with. Many children's parents cannot afford to buy name brand clothes for their children and therefore these kids are no considered to be in the "in" crowd. Many children are teased because their clothes aren't good enough or because they wear hand me downs. If a child wears the same outfit the next day others then perceive that child as dirty, even if that is their only outfit and it was washed. If parents could go to the store like Wal-Mart to buy uniforms, or buy uniforms through the school all they would need would be two sets of uniforms. If child wears the same thing

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