In the United States, the K-12 education system serves as a pathway to abundant intelligence for students. Students are provided with the right tools to learn and flourish. Despite the benefits that it provides, there is a problem with the education system being insufficiently democratic. Several characteristics in the system depict a weak democracy, which disrupt the functioning of the government. Although, there are signs in the education system of being insufficiently democratic, there are actions that can be taken to help change it to becoming democratic and therefore, create a well-functioning overnment.
The problem with the K-12 education system is a combination of the school body and the politicians involved. The school body consist of students, administration and faculty. The politicians involved are those who are part of the Education Department in the government. First, there is an issue with the involvement and representation in the K-12 education system which leads us to questioning if the education system practices more of a direct or a representative democracy. A representative democracy is when citizens of the country vote for politicians to pass laws for them.
The K-12 education system definitely depicts a representative democracy because there’s a Department of Education in the cabinet-level in the government. These politicians represent the students from K-12. In terms of actually representing them, they don’t. The students do not have a say in anything passed through the Department of Education. Due to the representation, the decisions that are made without student, administration and faculty opinion are usually not the best in the student’s favor. This means that a fifth grader has no say about the curriculum being taught and school spending.
Administration and faculty have no say about furlough days or spending either. This displays a representative democracy rather than a direct democracy because there are people who are making choices for the students, administration and faculty. This causes a lack of civic virtue within the government and the individuals with political power. Civic virtue focuses on the public’s good. In this case, it is the students in the K-12 education system. When an act is passed in the system, politicians do not truly care about the disadvantages and consequences that will directly affect the students.
Therefore, oliticians lean more to being delegates rather than trustees. Politicians have different incentives to go against the public’s good. The actions of these politicians then affects the outcome of an important education bill due to personal advantage. It is rare for there to be faithful voters when it comes to the education system. This affects the functioning of the government. There isn’t any progress in actually trying to change any flaws in the K-12 education system. This is affecting the government budget if there is not enough money provided to the schools across the nation.
This leads to making things arder for the schools across the nation. The government should have a balance since it is a democracy. Instead, it currently has an imbalance of fairness and justice. Some could argue that the K-12 education system is actually democratic enough. The argument is that the representatives chosen are actually done in a democratic manner. It is completely democratic because there is an election and voting involved. The election is fair and the eligible citizens of the United States vote. The political decisions are made by majority rule.
Although some may disagree with the individuals with olitical power to control their kids’ futures, it is done in a democratic manner because that is what consist of a democracy. A reform that would help the K-12 education system actually become significantly democratic would be an actual direct- democracy participation program. This program would start up in every K-12 school in the United States. This program would make it an obligation to attend and directly state opinions about education matters. This program should be open to students, parents, administration and faculty.
Parents are usually the ones that are the most uninvolved in their children’s education. It would be similar to jury duty. Jury duty is an obligation that all United States citizens are required to do. Now, if one does not attend jury duty, it is against the law and there is a warrant for an arrest and there is a fine with that as well. Now, if students, parents, administration or faculty decide not to participate, there will be consequences. For students, the consequences would consist of some type of school disciplinary punishment such as suspension. For parents, the consequences would consist of a fine.
The fine amount would be similar in amount to an ignored jury duty summon fine. If administration or faculty decide not to participate, then the consequences should be a suspension of teaching and being administrators for a couple of days. Person per person involvement would be possible with this kind of program. A democracy is person per person involvement. This path will benefit everyone that takes part of the K-12 education system. This proposed reform has both advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is the amount of direct participation from students, parents, administration and faculty.
The consequences serve as incentives to actually participate in the program. There should be a high voter outcome. Another advantage would be a creation and growth of faithful voters within the country of citizens. If these individuals were to actually express their thoughts and perspectives about education bills in regards to funding and school curriculum, they would serve as faithful voters. They would all vote faithfully, because they are the ones that will be affected through the outcomes. The purpose of the program is for them to benefit more from whatever it is that they are voting for, rather than not benefit.
This program would definitely promote equality for veryone, especially students since that’s what education is focused on; teaching and educating students. Along with advantages, come disadvantages. The problem with the prerequisite about eligible citizens of the United States participation and voting in the education system is that there are some students in the K-12 education system that are not old enough to vote or United State citizens. There are also parents of students that are not citizens either. It wouldn’t be fair at all because there would be some students and parents left out due to the qualifications.
In different parts of the country, there would be a big outcome of non-participators due to their legal status. Another disadvantage would be the consequences for the individuals who decide not to participate. In terms of attendance, it would be fine if a few decided not to participate. The problem with that is if there are more than a few who decide to not participate. Substituting for administration and faculty would be a huge problem. That would also ironically, affect the learning of students. Students would have different teachers all the time. Administration would have a hard time ith their flow of work and security for the school.
Being short staffed isn’t good for the functioning of the school. Enforcing the consequences should not allow the students, parents, administration and faculty to go against the program. Given the amount of advantages and disadvantages this proposed reform has, it seems insufficiently democratic. There are more disadvantages that outweigh the advantages. The disadvantages raised many questions. Especially the prerequisite for voting. The problem for why it is not democratic enough is that it still won’t allow students to vote because ajority of them in K-12 are under the age of eighteen.
It would be against the constitution to change the voting age just for students to be eligible to vote. Changing the constitution is undemocratic, because it is the foundation of democracy in our country. Also, not allowing non-citizens to participate, even though they take part of the K-12 education system, is not fair but the argument against that would be that it’s simply in the constitution and against the law. If you are not a citizen, you cannot vote. If you are not a citizen, you essentially do not have a say in anything.
Overall, the K-12 education system has many characteristics that make it insufficiently democratic. The system fails to allow an equal representation within the schools across the nation. The voices of the students, parents, administration and faculty are not heard. The voices of the politicians, who obviously have more power than average citizens, are the ones that are heard. Even though these politicians are elected democratically, they are not always faithful voters. This causes disruption in the functioning of the government. The government needs to sustain a balance.
If we would try to enact reform to try to fix some of these aspects that it currently has, there are issues that would arise. Some of the issues would contradict what actually is democratic in the United States and would question the constitution. I think that just by enacting the reform and slowly trying to fix some flaws that it does have, there could definitely be some progress seem in the future. There would be progress seen from the current K-12 education system, which is insufficiently democratic. Some change is better than no change when it comes to the education system in the United States and the government functioning.