Children hold the key to the future of this world, one day they will lead this country. Education will become very important and it will be what gets the children into a good position in life. Not every child can afford to attend school, even if they have the potential and the motivation to do so. Public schools have come a long way, Boston Latin School was the first public school in America, founded on April 23, 1635, and now serving about 2,400 students (Baden, 2014). When it first opened it only offered free education to males, regardless of their financial status. In this time, girls attended private schools at home. On their school website, their history states that “From its beginning, Boston Latin School has taught its scholars dissent with responsibility and has persistently encouraged such dissent”, later adopting the core subjects.
When schools first came to be known, how did we know what to teach? “Do you only prepare students for the work force or should they get a wider education in the arts and sciences? From the beginning our public schools taught reading, writing, math, science and citizenship” (Green, 2013). Over the years’ public education has changed, from teaching only basic knowledge to adopting different core standards and guidelines. The core standards determine what students from Kindergarten to 12th grade should be learning in English Language Arts and Mathematics by the end of each grade level. In Texas, in each grade level and each subject there are guidelines, also known as TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), they are a set of skills that the state of Texas requires teachers to teach the students. Texas considers these to be essential for the students to learn in each content area.
There are children who live in extreme poverty, therefor, must go to work to help their families instead of attending school. Even with public schools, there are still children who cannot attend due to economic reasons. If there was a charge for attending school, there would be an increase of the number of students that do not attend school. Global Partnership for Education has shared an article about Out-of-school Children (2016) and they confirm that “gender, poverty, displacement, nomadism, disability, ethnicity” and even speaking a different language may still be excluding students from school. This is due to the teachers not being able to accommodate them or have the knowledge to properly modify curriculum for them. The following attachment shows the number of elementary students out of school in 2013.
Schools have helped shape and educate children to be successful. Every successful person has had to go through school and receive the knowledge needed for their career to prosper and grow. There are children who benefit from the services public schools have to offer. Public schools provide free education for children along with many other beneficial activities. Some schools provide free breakfast and lunch for the low-income families or reduce lunch for families with higher incomes. When it comes to food, this may be the only food they eat in a day or even the week. This is a safe place for students to come too and learn as they grow. School offers student with an opportunity to socialize and meet other students which can help develop their self-esteem. Sports, arts, music, clubs and extra-curricular activities can come with a cost but for a lower price than any outside activity, with some of them being free. Transportation is also available for the students who live further away from the school. Before and after school programs are also available for those students who need extra help or need to arrive to school early or stay late. Tutoring programs are there to help the students catch up on homework and have a more one-on-one time with the teacher. Every student also has access to a wide variety of books in a library available for everyone. If a student fails a school year, some schools will have the student attend summer school to get them to pass to the next grade level, most of them free of cost. One very important service public schools also offer is special education. Students with disabilities receive an opportunity in life and their futures. Transition services also help students in special education meet their goals while fitting them in a job or furthering their education.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the fall of 2016, 50.4 million students were to attend public elementary and secondary schools, compared to only 5.2 million students who were expected to attend private elementary and secondary schools. Over the years there has been an increase of students enrolled in public schools (Fast Facts, 2016). The national average private school tuition ranges from $8,900 to $13,500 a year. This is money not every family has available. Public schools offer students the education they need for free, from pre-k to 12th grade. Not every student that graduates high school attends college, money being one of the reasons. College can cost thousands of dollars for tuition, fees, room & board, meal plans, books, etc. A wide number of students who do attend college qualify for financial help from the government by applying to FAFSA or using student loans. Without attending college, one still has a high opportunity of finding a job to sustain themselves and their families. On the other hand, it is a little more difficult to find a job without a high school diploma, let alone no education at all.
Public schools serve to provide students with the knowledge and education they need to be successful in the future. Every person with a career has had to receive an education, from lawyers, doctors, engineers, fire fighters to teachers. There have been numerous students left out of the opportunity of receiving the education they deserve and most desire. Public schools serve a very important role, hope.
Baden, M. (2014, April 23). The first public school in America was founded this day in 1635. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://oomscholasticblog.com/post/first-public- school-america-was-founded-day-1635
Boston Latin School. Boston Latin School History. Retrieved January 26, 2017, from http://www.bls.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=206116&type=d
Fast Facts. (2016). Retrieved January 27, 2017, from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
Global Partnership for Education. (2016). Out-of-school Children. Retrieved from http://www.globalpartnership.org/focus-areas/out-of-school-children
Green, J. (2013, February 26). What is the Purpose of Public Education Today? Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://fauquierfreecitizen.com/what-is-the-purpose-of-public-education-today/