I am writing to you as a response to your recently aired show on Stupid in America. I wish to disagree on some key factors that you pointed out in your show as the result as to why America is stupid. I would to undertake a comparative approach in order to put my point forward. To start with the issue of the effectiveness of teachers is mentioned one of the contributing factors to the low level of poor performance in students. School learning is and should be a multifaceted approach. This means that a teacher alone as much he or she is important towards good performance of the students. For instance, the test that the New Jersey did with the Belgium students where the Belgium students performed excellently compared to their American counterparts. This happens in light of the fact that both groups of students have very well able and competent teachers at their disposal.
Your other argument that money is not essential in promoting good performance of American students is unsupported completely. The education sector is as much important as the health sector and both of these sectors need money in order to run effectively as well as efficiently. By looking at the manner in which private schools continue to excel compared to the public schools is a good example as to how money is essential. Private schools are well equipped which is crucial for effective learning for the students, the teachers are paid well and hence are in a position to give undivided attention to the students. This is the contrary in the case of public schools majority of which are poorly funded and the teachers have very low motivation levels.
The issue of choice for parents is unsupported enough. Parents have a believe that they do not have the choice of the kind of school their children go to as though the school is the major determinant in the success of their children. In most developing countries such as African countries, parents also do not have a choice of the kind of school their children attend. Therefore, their children go to public schools which are not like the private schools. Despite this factor majority of the best performing students and schools at the national level come from the public schools. The choice of choosing between either a public school or a private school is not as much as important as the value of education that is offered by the school. This is about running away from responsibility as parents who are major stakeholders in the success of their children. The aspect of choice will commercialize education which is supposed to be a basic need for every person in the society.
Teachers cannot police themselves and there has never been a situation where an institution has the role to keep checks and balances of its members. Just like the doctors and other medical professionals are accountable to a particular discipline body, similarly should the teachers in both the private and public schools should be accountable to a discipline body that is not is independent form interference or corruption from fellow teachers or unions.
It is important to note that for leaning to be successful and effective there is need for an approach that is multifaceted. All the stakeholders have to come in and play their part effectively. This includes the government, parents, teachers, community and the students. The students will take education seriously only when the key stakeholders show them that education is important and essential.