Rethinking Regulations in K-12 Education

Many teachers and educators are frustrated with the regulations that are in place in K-12 education. There have been many that say if the schools were deregulated and freed from the strict rules put in by the government, they would excel with their students. However, it’s not always that easy. Deregulation may not be the answer, but rethinking regulation could be.

Why are these regulations in place?

We first have to understand why regulations are there in the first place. Public schools are funded with taxpayers’ dollars, which is why there are standardized tests and other regulations to ensure that this money is being well spent. However, these tests lead to organizations that believe that the tests are the final say. They do not take into account the struggles of individual students or the school as a whole. Still, regulations are in place to make sure money is being handled correctly and that our children are getting a good education. 

Changing regulation could change education

One study performed by Innosight Institute found that many teachers are spending a significant amount of time doing tedious documentation for the required regulations currently in place. Instead of dedicating those hours to bettering curriculum and engaging with the students, they have to mindlessly document things like how many hours each student spends learning. If regulation could be changed, it could impact how well students are learning.

There are many complex rules when it comes to running a school, and while that’s not usually a bad thing, it wears on teachers who are already tired and underpaid. The key to making a better education system happen may not be getting rid of regulation, but changing it. Many believe that a few small, simple rules are much easier to follow than a long set of complex ones.

The guidelines could be better

 The education system could always be improved, but it doesn’t have to be left up to one political party or the other. This is an issue that affects every child, which in turn, affects everyone’s future. Implementing a handful of simple rules that teachers could follow would allow for more flexibility in the curriculum. Teachers are trained to teach children, and when they spend hours with these children, they know how to educate them best. What works for one school may not work for the other, but only the local educators will understand what works for them.

Simple rules can be implemented as general guidelines that have to be followed. However, it doesn’t have to rule the teacher’s day as it does right now. Education in the public school systems should have an overarching goal, one that teachers will want each of their students to hit and succeed. However, it’s unrealistic to think that one test or one set of guidelines can cover the vast socioeconomic and educational disparity that exists within the United States. Funding, lack of support, and the daily life struggles of each student vary depending on the state and city that these children are in. While taking away regulation may not be the best choice, rethinking regulation as a whole could help our students to better succeed.

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