Education within nations is one of the most valuable assets in a nation. It provides knowledge of our country, universe and helps us build our own personal opinions. For the progress of a nation, for the enrichment of society in general, education is necessary and important.This paper will focus on examining the history, problems and existing policy options of the education with in the Democratic Party in the US. The overall effects of education in presidential elections and voter turnout in the past will be discussed.
The early American education was largely private or religious institutions. Even at an early stage it provided mass schooling and literacy to America before the public school system came into existence. There are four major eras that the development of education can be categorized. The Permissive era of education (1642-1821) occurred when the government certified the organization of public schools subject to the consent of local voters. Like any new system put in place, in the launch there was a lot of mistrust criticisms during the birth of public schools. http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/progress.htmlDuring the encouraging era (1826-1851) the government openly encourages the establishment of school districts and raising tax proceeds to support them. http://www.cblpi.org/ftp/School%20Choice/EdHistory.pdf Public schooling became popular due to the arrival of new immigrants who had different beliefs and traditions. The major goal was to establish order and integrate immigrant children into a common school environment.
Later on the world entered the compulsory era (1855-1980) the American government compelled the establishments of school districts, and the taxation for certain school related aspects such as curriculum, structure and attendance. http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/progress.htmlThis is where the decline of parental power is visible and children of certain ages are obliged to attend school. The last era which is from 1980 to the present, known as the freedom era, the education possibilities for children expand through homeschooling, tuition tax credits, scholarship tax credits, and education deductions. http://www.cblpi.org/ftp/School%20Choice/EdHistory.pdf
Today, there are more options however the education system still has many issues. The first problem would be the universal access to education. The overall objective that Jefferson and Franklin, the 18th century founders, arranged was the ideal of equal education. In any case, that stops at the post-secondary education. Post-secondary education is not mandatory but it's very expensive that not all students and families can't afford. This separation can result by income and education class. The outcome is contrary to the underlying values of the American educational system.
The second issue is that the national government doesn't enforce any control over the education policy compared to other areas. There is a Department of Education but it's not a central organization that supervises all the associated national and regional services. They don't have any management under a national education policy and many states they perform under their own establishments. They are also in competition for federal government support and private resources.
The third issue is math and science education and insufficient teachers. The improvement of science and math education in the US is complex. The US need to employ suitable teachers into the work force. Students lacking mathematical talent need to be taught by people who know how to teach individuals beyond the gifted. The American education has not enhanced its math and science education standards in step with the technological advancements of the world. This is critical since our modern world continues to grow in intricacy and competition globalizes, as more students will need these subjects to be employable and successful.
There are 2 significant events that education and the government had a profound effect amongst the election process.
The Civil War led to enormous cultural changes throughout the United States. After the war, the slaves who were freed as the Union Army experienced a drastic shift throughout the South. As slaves were liberated, education quickly became one of their highest priorities. The initial motivation for education was to be more like their white counterparts. They saw literacy as a means of empowerment and social advancement.
In response to the initial desire of Blacks to become more educated, several organizations were developed. Even the Federal Government though the Freeman's Bureau supported the educational effort. They were now free citizens capable to get an education, to vote, get paid for their labor and even attain positions in the government. Hiram Revels was one of the first non-Caucasians to be elected as the Senator of Mississippi. (http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215469/reconstruction.htm)
One of the first blacks honored by being elected to the Senate was Hiram Revels, Senator of Mississippi. Before the Civil War, very few free blacks in Mississippians had access to a basic education. The leadership from Revels became essential in politics for gathering the new electorates after the war. It was his efforts in education that brought Revels into politics. In 1869 he swiftly won over the population with his moderate political opinions regardless of race. http://baic.house.gov/member-profiles/profile.html?intID=14
The second initiated after violence and demonstrations erupted and brought attention to the problem of voting rights. This convinced President Johnson and the Congress to initiate effective national voting rights legislation. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed to protect and ensure the right to vote. Post-Civil War several Southern states used methods to discriminate such as Poll taxes and literacy tests against the Black population. Black voters, many who were poor, were charge fees to discourage them from voting. Another requirement to vote was to pass a literacy test. These tests consisted of reciting, transcribing and answering ambiguous questions regarding the Constitution. The Voting Acts of 1965 not only ended literacy testing and poll taxes but it made an immediate impact. By the end of that year, a million new black voters had been registered. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/documents/docpages/document_page100.htmBy the end of 1966 only 4 of the 13 southern states had fewer than 50 percent of African Americans registered to vote. http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=old&doc=100
In the political realm both the Democrats and the Republicans represent different ideals, goals and audiences they try to accommodate. These contrasting ideas are easily presented in their differing views of education.
Regarding education the Republicans believe that students should become proficient in reading and math disregarding race or economic background. Schools should be responsible for the progress of students. They emphasize shifting to community colleges that directly lead students to job opportunities and that the federal government shouldn't be involved in student loans. They promote homeschooling that gives parents more control over their children's education.
On the other hand, Democrats believe to help students with college a reform for the student loan program and double investment in Pell Grants is required to turn struggling public schools around. They emphasize on making college tuition tax deductible and creating standardized tests to test real advance learning. Due to the increasing immigrant the Democrats suggest to hire new teachers, and making communities modern and safe.
As illustrated, education has always been a controversial issue because of the differing views of how to properly provide education. Education is the foundation for the future of the state. It must be assured that education is widely accessible.
The No Child Left Behind was created by President Bush and Senator Kennedy in 2002. When the act was passed it had an extensive impact specifically public schools. It affected the manner of how money was spent in education, the school curriculum, and teacher training. Still now it's one of the most controversial domestic policy. There are arguments over whether the law is successful in enhancing academic achievement.
Debate rages over whether the law is an effective way to improve academic achievement. As soon as it was passed by the Congress it was criticized from both parties. Democrats were disappointed that the amount of federal aid to school did not grow as quickly as they anticipated.
Even Americans have mixed views on the nation's education law. Among those who have heard about the law, 34% say the law has made schools better; 26% say it has made schools worse; and 32% say it has had no impact. http://pewresearch.org/topics/publicopinion/
But NCLB's aim was to guarantee that the children in the US receive a better education and to erase the boundaries between the children with high performance with those who don't.
The No child left behind is important because education is one of the many factors that affect voting and presidential elections. In 1980,Â 80%Â of college educated adults voted,Â 59%Â of those with four years high school education votedÂ 43%Â of those with a grade school education voted. I This might be a bit of a generalization, but citizens are more likely to vote if you have a middle to large income, are educated to college level and have an occupation. Overall education correlates with nation-build.Â The United States of American wouldn't exist today without education.Â Â Through the tool of education, professionals that benefit the country are fostered. As in the past for the US to succeed in the future, politicians now need to focus on efficiently and effectively overcoming the education issues since it shapes the attitudes and behaviors and values of citizens.Â Â These are qualities that are needed for nation-building and it is only education that will bring those mechanics.