Many words have been written and will be written in the coming years about the future of America’s public schools or lack thereof.
The uncertainty surrounding concerns about state and local public education funding was exacerbated by the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the Trump Administration’s pick for secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). DeVos, a billionaire and education privatization advocate has zero experience in the public school system.
However, there were plenty of problems present within the American public school system prior to DeVos’ appointment to the head position of the DOE.
Many U.S. states, such as Kansas are headed up by Republican governors who have Republican-dominated state legislatures doing their bidding to defund local urban schools. Also, the plummeting academic quality of America’s public schools has a lot of parents considering other education options for their children.
But does the solution to America’s public school troubles lie within the framework of a foreign system?
Matthew Easterday, an opinion contributor to TheHill.com wrote a column that was published on Monday (February 20th) titled The Japanese Education System May Solve the Problems of U.S. Public Education. Easterday’s piece contained informative points of interest about Japan’s education system, which is one of the best in the world.
His opinion-editorial partially reads as follows:
“In researching the K-12 Japanese educational system, typically compared favorably to [the U.S. educational system], Catherine Lewis, senior research scientist at Mills College, asked Japanese teachers how they learned problem solving approaches to teaching mathematics. Reportedly Lewis reacted in disbelief when they told her that they were developed by American researchers.” (TheHill.com)
Easterday’s piece went on to discuss the professional opinions of other American education experts who have carefully analyzed the Japanese educational system and compared it to the U.S. model. America once had a standout public education system that was a great example for the rest of the world.
However, many societal values have been abandoned over the decades and this has eroded the quality of many American unified public school districts.