Main Reasons the U.S. Education System is Failing

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What was once a pinnacle of national excellence in education has now become a shadow unto itself. The American public education system had its glory in the industrial age, when educators adapted the system to the times. Decades later, the structure has changed little, so that it no longer corresponds to the modern world.

What are the main reasons for the failure of the public education system in the United States? This article addresses some of the critical issues plaguing the current structure of education in the country.

Lack of adequate funding

Most public schools are funded by local and state governments. They allocate funds to educational institutions based on their tax revenues, royalties and sales. This attitude limits the ability of these governments to obtain the real funding that schools need to function properly.

The needs of the education system exceed the resources of the state. As a result, schools often have to make do with fewer mentors and resources.

The dark side of technology

Today’s technology is alien to the industrial age. Now you can access all information from your smartphone anytime, anywhere. Students benefit from these gadgets: Schools are integrating various technologies into their classrooms and curricula. Such an attitude promotes student engagement and effective learning.

But technology is a double-edged sword because it can be a major source of distraction for students. Students spend hours on social media, playing games or watching movies on their smartphones. In addition, students often misuse mobile phone facilities to gain quick access to information in order to cheat in exams and tests. This situation seriously detracts from the culture of learning.

Low wages

Teachers’ salaries are far from impressive, and the average salary of tutors has dropped in recent years. Many people consider this profession a job and are waiting for an opportunity to find a more financially rewarding job. Low and declining wages discourage many qualified guardians.

Growing poverty

Higher education is expensive, and growing poverty makes it difficult for many people to pursue higher education. Most students in public schools in the US come from low-income families and cannot afford all the educational necessities such as textbooks, tutoring teachers, gadgets and the like. Students from affluent families tend to do better in school than students from low-income families.

Mass shootings in schools

Recently, there has been an alarming increase in mass shootings in educational institutions. Many students do not feel safe in their schools, and the government and education administrators are unable to find an adequate solution.
One of the prevailing public opinions on dealing with armed violence in schools is to allow teachers to carry concealed firearms and to give them special training on how to deal with such situations. Experts say that such an installation is not ideal, because there is a risk of injuries and accidents.


One of the main reasons for the failure of the American education system is the widespread violence and harassment at colleges and universities. A 2007 study found that more than 32 percent of high school students were victims of bullying.

Thanks to numerous campaigns against the law, this figure has fallen to 20% in recent years. Despite this decline, the frequency of bullying, in any form, has an impact on school development. Many victims of bullying do not report it; another reason for the reported reduction is no celebration.

Students are harassed in school, outside of school or online on social media. Such acts traumatize the victim and negatively impact his or her studies and life.

Standardised test weights

Schools strive to meet the requirements of standardized testing and often prioritize this objective over teaching. This program evaluates institutions and their staff based on their students’ test scores and then motivates them to achieve high scores. To achieve this goal, teachers often use a test-by-test approach. Many experts believe that this situation is probably the main reason for the failure of the American education system.

The struggle to meet the demands of standardized testing also leads the public education system to neglect subjects such as the arts that are not tested.

Mental health

Students are one of the most stressed populations, especially during exam periods. They have to juggle their academic activities, their personal work, their studies, sometimes their jobs and much more. More than 50% of American students suffer from high levels of anxiety.

Although there are counsellors in schools to help students deal with their mental health problems, their work may not be enough. Many public schools have student to counselor ratios higher than the recommended 1,000 to 1,500:1. In addition, there is a general stigma that prevents children from benefiting from the program, despite a growing awareness of mental health issues.

Overcrowded schools

Overcrowding is another major factor contributing to the decline of public education in the US. Many schools have up to 40 students per class, with an average of 27 at the high school and 21 at the elementary school. This reduces the effectiveness of learning and the tutors cannot provide individual support in the classroom.

Defects in the offer

Sometimes the state gives a teacher with a role model a long-term contract that prevents him or her from being fired. The main reason for this provision is to protect guardians from leaving for personal or political reasons. It also serves as an incentive for others to improve their productivity. Teachers on contract are free to speak out and defend the interests of students without fear of recrimination from the school system.

Shadows are a good idea, but their implementation often falls short. Teachers with such contracts risk becoming complacent because of their work immunity. It’s also hard to fire ineffective teachers.


An overhaul of the U.S. education system that reflects the current state of the world will help restore it to its former glory. Finding alternatives to standardized testing, making universities safer and increasing funding for schools are some of the measures that could lead to a revitalized national public school system.

This article was written by Jennifer Smith, a professional educator at PapersOwl. She has worked for several media companies and has been an editor of several co-published books. Jennifer currently runs a blog where she provides high-quality guidance on writing, editing, and more. She is also an avid dog lover and volunteers at a local animal shelter whenever she has time.

frequently asked questions

What are the main problems in education today?

10 Key Issues and Challenges for Public Schools – An Overview of Public Schools.

Does the education system in the US not work?

For too long, the American education system has abandoned too many children, including too many poor children and children of color, without sufficient public awareness and accountability. … The data offensive was a response to a real education problem, but poor thinking about data testing and use led to a data treatment that was worse than the disease.

When did the American education system fail?

Many conservatives believe that public education in America today is in a poor state because of cultural and social trends, most of which began in the 1960s, that have destroyed classroom discipline, the moral basis of education, and a national consensus on what students should learn.


About the Author: Prateek

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