Statistically, United States spend more on education per student than any other country in the world. However, despite being ranked 14th by the Learning Curve Pearson Research, the US education system is not void of contemporary issues. If you have to cover this broad topic in an informative speech and cannot think of something yet, here are ten facts that will ignite your creativity.
Here are some of the facts on contemporary issues in U.S. education that you can use for writing an Informative Speech on the matter:
- The Common Core State Standards have been subject to debate since their inception. The mixed response to this matter is due to political and public feedback taken into consideration during the creation of these standards. Regardless, 42 states have adopted this and many are deciding to let it be.
- The No Child Left Behind Act is another much-criticized initiative because the federal government, ironically, has actually left behind a lot of children due to their lack of funding. Student’s achievements are evaluated by an annual reading and mathematics test, which teachers prepare the students for in advance because that is how they are supposed to keep their jobs. As the focus of these evaluation tests is math and reading, other important subjects are neglected, such as art, social studies, and physical education.
- The US education system was not spared when the time of budget cuts came. Inflation has led to a great decline in education funding. Several educational programs have faced cuts such as Title I Grants by 6.8 percent, the Impact Aid that was diverted to help the districts on American Indian and Federal lands by 5.3 percent, the advanced placement program by 38.4 percent, and civic education by a 100 percent. These numbers look even worse when we look at the overall educational expense reduction. A total of 19.8 percent has been reduced in the educational budget between the years 2011 and 2015.
- Students are not able to concentrate enough because of the lack of concern when it comes to school violence. Violence in schools is due to various reasons, such as an uncomfortable environment at home, the overall crime rate in the neighborhood, and the negligent behavior of school administrators. School violence has become such a big problem that even the school staff’s safety has come under question. There is a substantial percentage of students who carry weapons of sorts to school. Physical fights have become a norm. Overall, a significant number of students do not attend school in some areas due to the fear of their safety.
- Foreign students whose native language is not English suffer enormously in the US education system. While it is mandatory for them to learn English as a secondary language, the system is not catching up to the huge amount of non-English speaking immigrants arriving to the US with kids below six years of age. Generally, these students are more likely to drop out of school. Furthermore, the administrators themselves sometimes encourage them to do so just so that they can improve their average score results. Teachers as well evaluate them with lower difficulty, creating a hurdle in their personal grooming.
- To this day, the US education system has not unanimously agreed upon the definition of a ‘Gifted Student’. Due to the lack of a universal system or attention to the gifted children’s education, these kids are more likely to develop academic, social and emotional problems. The budget allocated towards this issue has been declining ever since the cold war ended. Till this day, there is a debate about whether the term ‘Gifted’ is limited to medical reasons or potential.
- Even in times like today, gender bias exists, and it can affect kids at an early age too. Gender bias is the profiling of kids according to their gender. Certain teachers may subliminally incite the idea that a male or female student is supposed to be good at a particular subject just because that’s how members of their genders are. It has become a bigger problem in today’s world because of the fact that the professional environment in offices have evolved. Grooming the child from an early age is important so that they understand equality and behave in a way that would not isolate them in their older age.
- There is a standard test called “High Stakes Test” which is given to students as early as in kindergarten or 3rd grade. This test is done to see whether the teacher or the administration is up to the standard set by the state. This is a highly controversial way because this gives teachers and administrator cause to tweak their academic calendar and train students for the upcoming tests. There should be a more transparent and systematic way to perform this which does not strain the minds of little children with another test.
- Politics plays a huge role in the development of education system. Each time there is an election, the candidate presents his or her absolute discontent towards the education system and presents all the changes that they portray as if no one has ever imagined. An education strategy should not be altered way too many times and there should be a proper debate between respected and well-reputed teachers and economists to decide on a plan of action that all the newly elected government officials reinforce.
- The wage of a school teacher is not enough to attract qualified graduates to choose teaching as a profession. Those who are working already do not have enough incentives to perform better in class. The problem is this that the teachers are evaluated but they are not incentivized.
If you want more straightforward topics, check out our list of 20 topics on contemporary issues in U.S. education for an informative speech. On the other hand, if you need help with writing this speech, refer to our guide on how to write an informative speech about education.
High Stakes Testing Pros and Cons. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from http://www.education.com/magazine/article/high-stakes-testing-pros-cons/
Levine, M. D. (1994). Educational care: A system for understanding and helping children with learning problems at home and in school. Cambridge, MA: Educators Pub. Service.
Weishaar, M. K. (2007). Case studies in special education law: No Child Left Behind Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Finley, L. L. (n.d.). School violence: A reference handbook.
Sadker, D. M., Sadker, M., Zittleman, K. R., & Sadker, M. (2009). Still failing at fairness: How gender bias cheats girls and boys in school and what we can do about it. New York: Scribner.
Camacho, J. S. (2008). Higher education as ignorance: The contempt of Mexicans in the American educational system. Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books.
Top 100 Universities in the World 2012. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/100TopUniversitiesintheWorld.aspx