The United States Department of Education (ED), on the other hand, has very little say in the matter of policies governing establishment of educational institutions and the development of their curriculum within a state’s boundaries. Despite claiming on its website to be serving a student population to the tune of approximately 56 million across some 98,000 public schools and 34,000 private schools in America, ED only contributes around 8% of the fundings allocated for elementary and secondary school education. It thus envisages its role as nothing more than a stopgap to meet shortfalls in educational support by state governments and their local partners. (U.S. Department of Education, 2009)
It is, therefore, well nigh impossible to achieve the goal of a national standardized curriculum without the ED assuming a significant role in our policy discourse through increased federal contribution towards the overall educational budget, and without the federal and state legislatures realizing the vital importance of this step in improving the collective wellbeing of our educational system.
The Federal and state governments also need to take stock of the economic actors and forces that seek perpetuation of the status-quo, and are not overly excited about the prospects of having standardized educational textbooks across the country. First and far most, policies need to be formulated and measures need to be taken to prevent publishing houses from churning out unnecessarily revised editions of textbooks at the end of each educational year. The changes that these revised texts contain are often so superfluous in nature and unnecessary in context that their economic cost to the increasingly-burdened student population and their environmental cost for our ecosystem should alone serve as potent moral deterrents for the corporate interests involved in this practice.
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