Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Education Everywhere: The Popular Awareness Surrounding Education Reform

By Alexandra Manrique

The issue of education—you can’t escape it. Although there are ongoing debates about its quality in the US, I am not reviewing the system’s faults in this post. Instead, I am referring to education, the entire topic, the call for change, and its widespread coverage. The issue is “hot.” The President is discussing it, the media is covering it, and films are documenting it. Is this necessary and extensive exposure helpful? Or, is this issue running its course (again) through the media and political mill. For this country’s sake, let’s hope it’s the former.

Every political administration notices the problem and tries to fix it. Ideas are given, plans are discussed, and policies are implemented. Yet, even with new legislation, serious problems persist; children are not reading at grade level, graduating high school, or entering the work force. This is because the government can’t do it alone and for good reason. The system needs an entire transformation and the public needs to support it.

Currently, this administration is making it a goal to improve the education system, and it is not shy about publicizing its plan. The President has been vocal about reform. Even Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is going to the public with his education proposals; just a few days ago he held a conference with MTV, a network known for its young audience.

Even if you don’t follow politics you will hear about the need for education reform. The media is improving its coverage on education and reporting more about the issue. There is also the documentary “Waiting for Superman”, presently being shown in theatres, that has earned rave reviews.

Apparently, I am not the only one noticing this extensive coverage. While I was writing this blog I came across another piece titled “The strange coverage of Obama’s education policies,” which has its own opinion about education publicity.

People may disagree with the plans and the policies surrounding education. However, the point is that the issue, the education of our children, is finally getting the attention it deserves. This new lengthy coverage means that more people are being informed, and too much information is never a bad thing.

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