Public education has many good things to offer to students and families, but too often, the distractions that exist in public schools contribute to feelings of failure and hardship for students and parents. Rampant bullying, peer pressure, and the lack of freedom to express religious beliefs are just some of the major issues that families deal with at public schools. Toss in the growing use of standardized testing at public schools and it is clear to see how public education has been failing students for far too long. Standardized tests are not the only tools that can be used to measure a student’s intelligence, yet, students are judged by their test results instead of being taught according to their learning styles.
Education is not a one-size fits all process; how one person grasps concepts may not be the way that another person grasps concepts. Public education institutions fail to provide safe environments where students can learn like the unique individuals that they are. Instead, public school students are forced to learn in overcrowded classrooms where one teacher is responsible for teaching and monitoring as many as 30 to 40 students at a time. Public school teachers should not be treated like underpaid babysitters, but that is often how they are viewed and treated while they are at work. When a teacher is forced to spend more time disciplining disruptive students than teaching students, everyone suffers.
Public education does not cater to Christian students who wish to practice their religious beliefs at school. Serving the general public is the main goal of public school administrators and they don’t want to risk offending students of different faiths. Devotional reading and Christian biblical prayer has been banned from American public schools since the 1960s, leading many Christian families to educate their children through homeschooling and Christian private schools. Families who follow other religious faiths are discouraged from acknowledging their faiths at public schools too. As a result of striving to be politically correct, public schools have created an environment where students are not encouraged to publically show pride for their religious beliefs.
Public school students spend the majority of their daytime weekday hours at school, more time than they probably spend with their families, but there is usually more schoolwork to do at home after class is done for the day. The huge amount of homework that high school students are faced with interferes with family time and extracurricular activities that students and parents feel are important. Much of the homework that students are asked to do could be completed in class if there weren’t so many distractions and if the teachers had more one-on-one time to spend with each student. Not only do public school students waste a lot of time at school, they are asked by their teachers to do more “busy work” at home that interferes with their personal time with family and friends.
Bullying and peer pressure have existed in public schools for a long time. Boys and girls have committed suicide and left notes behind for loved ones to find detailing the abuse they suffered from the hands and words of school bullies. Some North American public schools have started anti-bullying campaigns to help their students, but there is only so much that can be done when the students outnumber the teacher in the classroom. Some teachers have good intentions and try their best to help students, but public school teachers are often overworked and underpaid and don’t have the time or interest to stop the rampant bullying that takes place in public schools. Even worse, teachers can be the ones who are cruelly bullying their own students.
North American public schools were created during the 19th century because governments wanted to train children to become obedient industrial worker bees. Times have changed since the 19th century; women and visible minorities can vote in political elections, computer technology is here to stay, and more families are exercising their rights to educate their children as they see fit. Public school is not the only solution to provide a quality education. Private schools, homeschooling, and Internet schools are other options that parents can pursue if they are dissatisfied with the public schools in their communities.