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The Impact of Culture on Education in the US

In actuality, education plays an extremely important part in the life of the society. At the same time, the modern education system in the US is far from perfect because the access to education is still limited. However, the new concept of education emerges today, the concept of education grounded on the principle of equality and accessibility of education to all students. In this regard, it is possible to trace the shift in the attitude of Americans to education from an important commodity to a public good. In such a situation, the impact of the new cultural environment on the development of education in the US can hardly be underestimated because the modern culture tends to become more tolerant due to the emergence of multiculturalism that leads to the elimination of differences between students. In America today we often hear the expression, “No child left behind.” Expressions like this show how education in America is culturally strengthened now more than ever.

Today, the development of the public education system is one of the major problems policy makers are currently facing. In fact, the effectiveness of the administration of public schools and the accessibility of education are extremely low. In actuality, it is obvious that education plays an extremely important role in the life of each individual and in the life of the entire country. In this respect, it is important to understand that strategic development of the USA and its policies in regard to education. In fact, the current President of the USA, Barak Obama emphasizes the importance of education and insists on the necessity of developing an effective system of education where children will be able to develop “skills they need for the 21st century” (Ramirez, 2009). In fact, this means that education is one of the major priorities of the public policies of the current Presidential Administration.

Obviously, existing state programs and the strategy of the development of the national education system aim at the elimination of barriers on the way of students to education and inclusion of all students, regardless of their social and cultural background, into the education process. In such a way, the modern education system is vulnerable to the impact of consistent cultural changes that occur in the modern society. In fact, the modern society is a multicultural society, where representatives of different culture live together and interact with each other successfully. They need to develop their interaction to make their own life better. The access to education is crucial because it opens the way to the development of multiculturalism and tolerance in students. If barriers on the way of students to the modern education persist, the US may face a problem of the cultural conflict that may outgrow into a social one because cultural differences cannot be barriers on the way of students to education. However, today, it is not only cultural but also socioeconomic barriers become unsurpassable for many students.

In such a situation, it is important to find a compromise. In fact, it is possible to recommend combine efforts of the state and voluntary associations. For instance, it is possible to involve voluntary organizations in the control over the use of state funds. In such a way, it will be possible to optimize the state spending on education and make it more effective, since voluntary associations can control and share their experience with state agencies.

Therefore, the modern education system needs consistent changes that occur under the impact of the contemporary cultural environment. In fact, the domination of multiculturalism stimulates the rise of tolerance in Americans and, today, tolerance is one of the core concepts of the modern American culture. In such a context, tolerance affects and defines consistently the development of the national education system. To put it more precisely, the emerging multiculturalism contributes to the change of the traditional values. In such a situation, the highly individualistic American culture tends to shift to the tolerant culture which respects rights and needs of people, who have limited opportunities because of their low social status. Obviously, many representatives of minority groups have the limited access because of their poverty and low language competence as well as the low integration in the American society at large. As a result, a considerable of Americans turn out to be excluded from the education system and have limited, if any, access to education. In such a situation, multiculturalism and tolerance, which become particularly important in the modern society, change the attitude of Americans to education and to the access of students to education. In fact, it is due to the multiculturalism and tolerance of the modern society, the demand on the equal access of all students to education grows stronger. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that the multiculturalism and tolerance contribute to the change of the attitude of Americans to education, which becomes a social good rather than a commodity. This means that education, as a social good, should be available to all Americans, regardless of their origin, social status, and so on, whereas the past attitude to education as a commodity implied that education is a matter of each individual and each individual should decide how to get education or just stay being uneducated. The modern concept of education as a social good implies the wide state support of education and responsibility of the state for the modern education system and its development. Moreover, the concept of education as a social good implies that education should be available to all students. Today, education cannot be a commodity available to a few. In stark contrast, education should be a social good available to all Americans. Such a shift in the public perception of education has occurred under the impact of profound socio-cultural changes that occurred in the American society.

 

Works Cited:

Barone, M. “Obama’s Threat to Charities and Universities: His Budget and Taxes”. US News, February 27, 2009. Retrieved on April 13, 2009 from http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2009/02/27/obamas-threat-to-charities-and-universities-his-budget-and-taxes.html
Erbe, B. “Obama’s 2010 Budget Stresses the Answer to Almost Every Economic Ill: Education.” US News, February 27, 2009. Retrieved on April 13, 2009 from http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/02/27/obamas-2010-budget-stresses-the-answer-to-almost-every-economic-ill-education.html
Herszenhorn, D.M. “Plan to Change Student Lending Sets Up a Fight.” New York Times, April 12, 2009. Retrieved on April 13, 2009 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/us/politics/13student.html?scp=6&sq=public%20schools%20administration&st=cse
Lohr, S. “With Finance Disgraced, Which Career Will Be King?” New York Times, April 11, 2009. Retrieved on April 13, 2009 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/weekinreview/12lohr.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=public%20schools%20administration&st=cse
Ramirez, E. “Education Spending Is Major Sticking Point in Stimulus Talks.” US News, February 10, 2009. Retrieved on April 13, 2009 from http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2009/2/10/education-spending-is-major-sticking-point-in-stimulus-talks.html