A former K-5 public school primary turned author, presenter, and also leadership coach, DeWitt offers insights and also advice for education and learning leaders. He deserve to be found at www.petermdewitt.com. Read more from this blog.




You are watching: Current issues in education in america

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Peter DeWitt is a former K-5 windy school primary turned author, presenter, and leadership coach.
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Education has actually many an essential issues; although if you clock the nightly news or 24/7 news channels, you will certainly most most likely see very small when it concerns education. Our political climate has actually taken over the news, and it seems as though education and learning once again bring away a back seat to important political events and also salacious stories around reality-television stars. It sometimes make me wonder how much education is valued?

Every year about this time, ns highlight some vital issues dealing with education. It’s no that i am do the efforts to sirloin the vacation season by posting it well before the 1st of the brand-new year. It’s in reality that I think we should have a an essential look at the worries we face in education, and also create part dialogue and action around this issues, and also talk about them sooner 보다 later.

Clearly, the fact that we are entering right into 2020 method we need to look at few of these concerns with hindsight due to the fact that we have actually seen castle before. Have the problems of the past readjusted or do they continue to influence our lives? as with any kind of list, you will notice one lacking that you think should be added. You re welcome feel free to usage social media or the comment box at the finish of this blog to include the persons you think should be there.

12 concerns Facing Education


These problems are not ranked in stimulate of importance. Ns actually emerged a list of around 20 crucial issues but wanted to small it down to 12. They selection from worries that affect our stays in negative ways to problems that affect our resides in optimistic ways, and I wanted to provide a list of problems I feel educators will think are in their control.

I have actually spent the much better part of 2019 on the roadway traveling across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and also Australia. The issues that are highlighted below have come up in many of those countries, but they will be specifically important because that those of us living in the U.S. There space a couple that seem come be specifically a U.S. Issue, and that will certainly be obvious to you as soon as you view them.

Health & Wellness - Research mirrors that countless of ours students space stressed out, anxiety-filled, and also at their breaking point. Teachers and leaders space experiencing those very same issues. Whether it’s because of social media, gift overscheduled, or the impact of high-stakes testing and pressure come perform, this demands to it is in the year wherein mindfulness i do not care even an ext important than it remained in 2019. Even if it is it’s making use of mindfulness apps and also programs or the implementation of twin recess in elementary school and also frequent brain beaks throughout the day, the time institutions are provided the autonomy to help students find much more balance.

Literacy - We have actually too many students not reading with proficiency, and also therefore, at hazard of lacking out on the opportunity to reach their complete potential. For decades there have actually been debates around whole language and also phonics while ours students quiet lag behind. The time to put a deep focus on teaching proficiency with a well balanced approach.

School Leadership - numerous school leaders go into into the position with high really hopes of having actually a deep impact but room not always prepared because that what they find. School leadership has actually the potential to be awesome. And when I cite school leadership, ns am also referring to department chairs, PLC leads, or grade-level leaders. Unfortunately, no all leaders feel ready for the position. Leadership is about understanding exactly how to get world to work together, having actually a deep understanding of learning, and building the volume of everyone about them. This way that university programs, feeder programs, and present leaders who coach those who want to it is in leaders, require to discover ways to disclose potential leaders to all of the goodness, and also the hardships, that come with the position.

Our tardy of students - because that the critical year I have actually been involved in some exciting dialogue in schools. Among the locations of worry is the late educators (i.e. Leaders, teachers, etc.) have actually of your students. Occasionally we reduced our expectations of students due to the fact that of the background castle come from, and also other time we organize unreachable expectations because we think our students space too coddled. And also even worse, I have actually heard educators talk about specific students in very an adverse ways, through a clear bias that must gain in the method of how they teach those students. Allow 2020 be a year once we focus on our perception of students and resolve those biases that may bleed right into our teaching and leading.

Cultures that Equity - ns learned a lengthy time ago that the history I learned around in my K-12 education was a white-washed variation of it all. Over there is an ext than one next to those stories, and we need every one of them because that a deeper understanding of the world. Review this an effective guest blog through Michael Fullan and John Malloy for a deeper look into cultures of equity.


Additionally, we have actually an success gap through some marginalized populaces (i.e., african American boys), and also have other marginalized populations (i.e., LGBTQ) who execute not feeling safe in school. Isn’t school claimed to be a safe place where every student reaches their complete potential?

Students and also the schools they attend need to be provided with equitable resources, and also we recognize that is no happening yet. My go-to resource is constantly Rethinking Schools.

District Office/Building-Level Relationships - There space too numerous school districts v a major disconnection in between the ar office and also building level leaders. 2020 needs to it is in the year when much more district offices uncover a balance between the top-down initaitives the take place, and also creating an ext space to connect in conversation with structure leaders and also teachers. College districts will likely never enhance if people are constantly called what to do and also not offered the possibility to share the an imaginative side the probably got them hired in the very first place.

Politics - it’s an election year. Obtain ready for the tide of whatever that comes through it. An unfavorable campaigns and bad habits by adults at the exact same time we tell students to it is in respectful to every other. It’s important for us to open up this conversation in ours classrooms, and also talk around how come respectfully agree or disagree. Additionally, we need to wonder how the campaigns and also ultimate presidential decision will impact education because the last few education secretaries have actually not given us all that lot to cheer about.

Our late of Teachers - end the last few decades there has been a concerted effort to do teachers look as though they made decision teaching since they might not carry out anything else. Even if it is it it is in in political rhetoric or through the media and also television programs, our dialogue has not to be kind, and also it has led to a an adverse perception the teachers. This rhetoric has actually not just been harmful to school climates, it has actually turned some teachers into passive attendees in their own profession. Teachers are educated, hardworking professionals who room trying to aid meet the academic and social-emotional demands of their students, i beg your pardon is not always easy.

Vaping - many of the middle and also high schools in the U.S. That i am functioning with space experiencing too many students that vape, and also some the those students space doing that in class. In fact, this NBC story shows that there has actually been a major spike in the usage of vaping amongst adolescents. In addition This story reflects that vaping is a major health crisis, and also it will take parents, schools, and culture to put a dent in it.

Time on job vs. Student Engagement - For too long we have actually agreed upon words prefer “Time ~ above task,” i m sorry often amounts to students being passive in their very own learning. The time we emphasis on student engagement, which enables us to walk from surface ar to deep level learning and also on to move level learning. It likewise helps balance the strength in the room between adults and students.




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Teachers through guns - I have to be ethical with you; this one to be not easy to add to the list, and it is really much a U.S. Issue. I freshly saw this story ~ above NBC Nightly News through Lester Holt that concentrated on teacher in Utah being trained come shoot weapons in instance of an energetic shooter in their school. This is a story the we will see an ext of in 2020.

Climate Change - even if it is it’s because they were motivated by Greta Thunberg (Time human of the Year) or the years of hearing about climate adjust in school and also at home, young world will continue to climb up and also make climate change a crucial issue in 2020. We saw thousands of students to win this year and also that will certainly surely rise after Thunberg’s latest recognition.

In the end - It’s constantly interesting come reflect ~ above the year and begin compiling a perform of crucial issues. I recognize it deserve to be challenging to watch at, and also begin to see where we fit into every one of this, but I have always believed that education and learning is about taking on some of this vital issues and transforming them approximately to make them better. Anyone who gets into teaching requirements to think that they have the right to improve the educational endure for your students, and these are simply a couple of places come start.

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D. Is the writer of several publications including Coach it Further: making use of the arts of Coaching to enhance School management (Corwin Press. 2018), and Instructional Leadership: developing Practice the end Of theory (Corwin Press. 2020). Connect with that on Twitter, Instagram or v his YouTube station.

Photo courtesy the Getty Images.


The opinions express in Peter DeWitt’s Finding common Ground are strictly those the the author(s) and do no reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial jobs in Education, or any kind of of that is publications.