Players of the National Basketball Association are now allowed to have approved social justice messages, including Black Lives Matter, Love Us, and the importance and power of voting, after the NBA had their season restart Eleven of the players involved in the motion chose to display “Education Reform” on the back of their jerseys. Since the restart, the hashtag “education reform” has hit over two hundred fifty thousand mentions. This proposition addresses the “goal of changing public education, in terms of education theory and practice”. The purpose of education reform varies from person to person, but in essence aims to improve the system, to help out students. Creating policies to help minority students, reducing theory based learning and assessments with the intent of focusing on practical skills, and revamping the curriculum to focus on issues around the respective country are several solutions that this movement strives towards.
The United States spends an average of sixteen thousand two hundred and sixty eight thousand dollars per student, which is greater than any other country. Spending that much on education is great but other countries are spending less but using their budgets in a more effective way. With that in mind, a key indicator of quality education is the number of schools that are closing. If they are shutting down, it is because students are not reaching their potential. During the 2015-16 school year, about 1,160 schools closed during the school year. The United States determines which schools close, based on tests. This leads to a large class gap and is a factor in the ‘unlevel playing field’ for minorities. The most known test in the United States is the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATS), which is used by Universities to accept students into their programs. The intent is to 'level the playing field' because of the difference in state to state high school curriculums. The SATS is a multiple-choice test that focuses on the core subjects:English, history, languages, and science. While, in theory, these tests seem beneficial, they essentially serve no purpose. Standardized Tests are expensive and do not measure the essential skills of a successful student. The purpose of these tests is to determine who is successful at test-taking. This skill is useless after school because test-taking will probably not be a factor when working. As well, these tests do not measure the ability to think critically and creatively, two of the essential skills that are used in the workforce. These tests separate students and inevitably become larger class gaps.
One of the more notable players donning the “Education Reform” statement is Kyle Lowry, who said that he was mpt “really taught African-American history. We weren’t taught about our ancestors, our history as African-Americans. We had a month in February when we kind of went through some stuff and that was it.” Unfortunately, schools look past their respective country’s flaws when it comes to educating students on important issues.The purpose of history class is to teach the past in order to change our future. However, the United States curriculum looks past slavery and the civil war. History classes have relatively been through the lens of a white man, but looking at these issues from other perspectives will allow for a better understanding of current events.
The education system is flawed and changes need to be pushed in order to create a more equal system, for all.
Strauss, V. “34 problems with standardized tests”. Washington Post, April 19 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/19/34-problems-with-standardized-tests. Accessed August 2, 2020.