U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
Dear Secretary of Education,
I am writing this letter to you in hopes that the education system will be completely transformed in the next few years. In the last two decades U.S. students have scored poorly on the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and its results have shown in the PIAAC (Programme for the International of Adult Competencies). For a country that considers itself “developed”, we are being overtaken by some “underdeveloped” countries. Our education system is stagnant with little to no positive growth over the past few decades. Lower income communities and school districts have not benefited from past attempts to resurrect and improve the education system through competitive methods like Obama’s “Race to the Top”.
As the newly instated Secretary of Education you are in the best position to make a big change in schools throughout the U.S. Going back to in person schooling is like starting over with a clean slate. It’s the perfect timing to make a strong plan that has a positive effect on all students. Like you have stated before in your own open letter to the public, the inequities throughout our education system have held back significant progress in our nation. I agree that we must ensure high quality education for all students and completely support teachers.
In order to improve the education system it is imperative that the plan includes both teacher and student education. This plan should include input from educators, teachers, and students. We need to look at countries that have a high success rate such as Singapore and Finland. In higher performing countries it is common for the best teachers to serve disadvantaged areas. There needs to be more support for students, with resources being reallocated to reach struggling students so that they can also thrive. The teachers must be treated and trained as world class teachers, they should be paid similarly to professionals. We need to have a higher retention rate and decrease the number of in field teachers.
The U.S. needs a unifying goal and a solid plan so that all students are able to have the same chance to succeed in school. We need to give better treatment to our teachers that run the education system and guide our children. I hope that you are able to come up with a plan that supports equity within schools all over the country.
Thank you for listening.
Cal Poly, San Luis Obsipo