Our nation views all situations as a competition and, in some cases, goes to extremely deceitful lengths to protect the possibility of failure. All tasks assigned to Americans are assumed to be easy and conducted with concurring enthusiasm; however, when it becomes arduous, frustration overcomes us and we look for the first available ?quick-fix.? Now that the task was completed-with the minimal amount of effort-we sit back and relax, because we are at ease with our accomplishment, and our result becomes the standard. This course of action appears prevalent in all American endeavors, especially in our national education system.
America?s educational system began like all of the other American endeavors, assumed to be easy, and conducted with simple enthusiasm. Formal education in America did not really begin until the end of The Great Depression (1939) and was a direct result of the New Deal legislation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945). Early educators of the system followed the principles of strict classroom discipline and high performance standards, which had a direct reflection on the youth of that early generation. Early students were well mannered and able to contribute a lot to the nation when they entered the workforce. Nevertheless, as the times changed-technologically and socially-the standards and results started to fall, causing much frustration among the system facilitators. In turn, the facilitators looked for that ?quick fix? and they found it in the souls of the American citizens.
Their fix was not a fix at all; instead, an illusion masking the failure of the system. By finding the ?quick fix? for dilemmas, Americans find a shield to protect us from the fear of failure. Deciding to lower the standard and expectations of the system?s performance was their miracle answer, for it would result in higher testing scores, eliminating the poor performance of the previous system. The facilitators found their fix, and were hardly questioned on their decision because, who questions something that produces good result? True, it raises scores, but that only creates a false reality for the students and parents of America. An example of the affect could be, a senior acing a once freshman level physics tests tells him that he completely understands senior physics, while-in truth- he only understands freshman physics. This exploitation of the fears of our nation hinders our ability to intellectually compete with the rest of the world. Our hindered ability to be a formidable competitor among foreign nations was proven by the 1998 math and science tests, where America ranked fourteenth in the test. Ranked fourteenth in a test conducted on foreign nations does not sound too bad to most people, but it should since there were only fourteen countries tested.
Pride should never come in the way of the quest for knowledge. Humans, by nature, are extremely proud-especially Americans- but are also extremely intelligent. ?Beings?, of the phrase human beings, implies mortality, and along with mortality comes imperfectness. We are far from perfect and are always going to make mistakes. Entering into any situation without experience with, or foreign knowledge of, we will always make mistakes and never match the optimal efficiency of it; nonetheless, we cannot give up in our quest of continuing advancement. Things get better the more they get worked on, for we learn through trial and error. Progress takes time, and it does get frustrating, but the results are a million times more beneficial than the quick fixes we presently apply. Currently, the education system in America lacks the thoroughness it once had, and its consequences will be devastating to the livelihood of America. For America to continue as a world power we need knowledge to advance, but if we continue perpetuating the false reality of success, fooling only ourselves, we will fall. Protecting our pride from possible bruising of initial failure, we consequently prevent our pride from reaping the benefits of persevering triumph.