Children's Education

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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There's been quite a furor recently in the public arena about children's education. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has made it its central aim to keep schools accountable for the students they turn out. It's safe to say that the government realizes that heightened educational standards and the pressure of accountability are the only ways to ensure that tomorrow's graduates are prepared to enter the world as confident adults.

In spite of all the political rhetoric about children's education, however, some critics maintain that NCLB is too broad and unwieldy to make a significant impact. These critics say that act is motivated solely by politics and that the mandate for city- and statewide identification of failing schools is empty without a more effective means of remediating them. It's not enough simply to state the obvious--that a compelling need exists for improvements in children's education--but to take local and regional steps to fix crumbling schools, pay teachers competitive salaries, and make classrooms safe to learn.

Children's Education Moves out of the Class

It's more common than ever to find parents opting to pull their children from failing schools. For all their reservations about home schooling, these parents still feel that they can't possibly do worse than the government has done, and so they set about devising their own curricula. Some take prefab lessons off the Web or buy home schooling workbooks in their local bookstores. Others combine educational software and other learning tools with real-life lessons in balancing budgets, running households, and resolving conflicts.

Until this generation of home-schooled children finds its place in the world, it'll be hard to say for sure whether this strategy has failed. Until then, concerned parents have other choices aside from exclusive home schooling. By far, the most popular route remains a mixture of the standard public school education and home learning through additional tools such as math and vocabulary supplements, CDs, learning software, maps, and models.


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