Outdated School System Causes Controversy

The public school system revolutionized the way that the country’s children grow up and interact with society, but, in the past 17 years since the No Child Left Behind Act, it has been stagnant.

Many issues like class size, lack of updated technology and bullying students face keep our school system from being as great as it can be. One of the biggest problems teachers face today is a lack of resources and funds provided by the school.

“I had to buy calculators out of pocket, using money from grants that I applied for, to get updated calculators for my class,” Cheryl Pietraszewski, Algebra teacher, said. “Some math teachers are stuck without calculators because they are not supplied by the school. If I had the funding for it, I would buy newer materials for my class so that my students are more efficient doing in-class group assignments.”

Some teachers and students agree that the school system must get some work done before it can be perfect.

“The state is moving in the right direction pertaining to funding,” Patti Fields, art department head, said. “However, there is still long way to go. Giving us the appropriate amount of money to run the school would allow us to do a number of things, such as have smaller class sizes which would help improve our student’s quality of education and updating facilities. The art and science departments have not been updated in decades. I teach art so that is my top priority.”

Students, arguably the most affected group concerning the school system, also have many reservations about how the school system functions.

“It feels like there is a lack of actual teaching and excessive homework,” Jagoda Jagustin ‘22 said.” It feels like studying is based more on self sufficiency. There is a lack of vibrancy. Sometimes, teachers do not seem into their work and that affects the whole nature of their classroom. You can sense it in their demeanor. They do not seem to genuinely care when they teach the students, sort of like they kind of abandon us. I find that in teachers who do not space out their tests. They do not care how this affects people.”

“This year I definitely better than the last two years,” said Jacob Dyer, ‘20. “There must be a better system in the parking lot because that is chaos, and not as much people in the hallway would allow for easier travel through the school. The current parking lot is a cause of concern, it is not very well organized. Longer passing times would help reduce hallway traffic and teachers should try to police the people standing in the middle of the hallway.”

“We don’t have a lot of money going into education,” said Sarina Bedawid, ‘22. Teachers are not working under a contract; this may cause them to feel less motivated to teach students efficiently. This issue makes it so that I not getting the best education I can. If we had more money for our school, we can update the technology which is also subpar, and if teachers were more enthusiastic, I can ensure my education. If the school would allocate more funds into technology and give teachers a contract, things would get much better.”

Some parts of the school system seem to show different standards toward different groups.

“Despite the fact some teachers do not have any calculators, MADE classes have the most recent calculators, just like the ones I personally bought for my students with grant money,” Pietraszewski said. “I am more concerned with teachers who did not get a classroom set of calculators. I feel bad for the other teachers, fortunately I am able to write grants to purchase items that will benefit my classes.”

Overall, the school system’s main weaknesses lie in the inequalities in funding and the outdated resources that limit teachers and students.

“Heating and cooling would really help the student’s quality of life,” Fields said. “As an art teacher it is important to have updated facilities and supplies to help making teaching the subject easier. This would help students because the quality of the supplies directly correlates with the quality of work done by students, meaning more students will win scholarships and awards. For instance, the art room is as old as the school, the cabinets and sinks need to be updated. I would like for the room to be much bigger because the current art room is too small and that makes it hard to fit the students in the class and it is difficult to do bigger projects with my students.”