Today, in education we stand at a crossroads. Government schools are failing to prepare all students, regardless of race, gender, or class, to participate equally in a democratic society. To be sure, public schools are graduating children that can’t read or write. Besides that, in these schools students suffer from severe psychological, emotional and physical abuse. On the other hand, private education has suffered a decline in quality in this era of commercialism and relativism. Viewing the situation realistically, it is difficult to be optimistic about the future since we also should confront the fact that society has avoided an honest discussion about the quality of education. This is an appropriate time to explore this important topic.
While there is no universal agreement about the answer to improve schools, a comprehensive approach to take up better educational decisions is possible. Three general factors affect student academic achievement: school, teacher, and the student. Ellen G. White, a Christian writer, is explicit that a key factor in a success story is to promote a safe and orderly environment. She also points out how parent and school involvement is essential for obtaining higher achievement. Moreover, Ms. White stresses the importance of cooperative work. She claims that in most private schools there is a spirit of dedication. Let’s remember that the school change we need cannot be undertaken by students that are not involved. In this sense, in her counsels to the youth, she points out that the students “should feel the responsibility in the matter of making their school life a success”. It is necessary to take teaching intellectual, social and moral habits seriously. People who have charge of schools cannot by their words and attitudes lead the students into false paths. Significantly, in good schools political ideology won’t be brought into the classroom. According to Ms. White, on these themes “silence is eloquence”. Finally, we must ask ourselves: what do students carry with them when they leave the school? What are the skills and values they carry with them? It is very sad to hear people saying that everything worth knowing they learned outside of school.
That’s really important: private education can do development or experimental work, whilst bureaucracy and conformism stand in the way to increase innovation within the public school system. It is fundamental to create programs to enable the most disadvantaged groups in society, the low-income families, to attend innovative private schools. We need schools that can take our kids and our society to even higher levels of achievement.
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