The obstacles first-generation college students face
The first-generation college students refer to those whose parents did not receive a four-year degree. Among the obstacles encountered by such students, one may note the increasing costs of education in the US, degree completion, as well as feeling uncomfortable due to inappropriate treatment by others and social class divisions. The situation is complicated by the students’ unawareness of special programs such as Gear-Up or Trio initiated to support them. To help the first-generation college students in overcoming the mentioned challenges, it is possible to establish proper funding as their parents are often unable to pay for education. At the same time, one may recommend promoting awareness among them by presenting special programs on official websites of colleges. By hiring and training more stuff along with initiating an advising system, it is possible to achieve greater effectiveness in first-generation college students’ learning. Colleges may also assist such students by means of re-considering the Summer Bridge Program and becoming more conscious in identifying the mentioned students and monitoring their progress.
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The efficiency of salaries and incentives in retaining teachers
Salaries and incentives are useful to retain teachers, but there are also some other tools such as motivation and engagement. As teacher salaries increased significantly since the 1950s, the remuneration now does not play the most important role in teacher attraction and retaining. Teacher unions also help in the above missions as they provide room for expression and reforms, targeting better working conditions and serving as a place for the experiment to improve teacher job satisfaction, thus retaining them. Another positive role taken by teacher unions refers to the formation of a partnership between teachers and the government by linking them to achieving a common goal. The re-consideration of teaching and schooling roles today’s ever-changing environment is one more responsibility of such unions. In general, advocating for teachers’ rights is the paramount contribution of teacher unions in the system of education in the US. Therefore, they seem to be rather helpful to retain teachers.
The reasons for differences in educational achievement of men, women, and members of various race and income levels
Gender, race, and income level disparities exist in the educational context as a result of different goals and conditions accompanying students. The given study suggests that girls tend to leave boys behind in terms of education since most of the latter target the subsequent two-year education or military service, while females are more likely to receive a four-year higher education. Males, especially African-American ones, misbehave more than females, which also identifies their learning outcomes. Along with career plans, the family environment and the income level determine a student’s learning grades since such factors as low income or poor relationships with parents decrease the ability to learn successfully. An educational expectation is another academic achievement driver that is more important to females due to their career goals. In addition, the plans of girls are more stable compared to those of boys. Thus, while reviewing student’s performance, it is critical to take into account their gender, race, and family relationships along with income.
The economic rationale for small classes, early childhood interventions, and teacher quality
The evidence shows that small classes are more effective than large ones as children have more opportunities to be engaged in the study and receive a teacher’s attention. The economic rationale for small size classes consists of two issues such as teacher quality and an early childhood intervention. The first rationale is associated with the fact that proper teacher preparation requires significant economic support that leads to subsequent high student learning outcomes. Teacher quality directly affects schools’ overall performance as more experienced teachers prefer to work in small classes to engage all students. As for early childhood intervention, one may note that it promotes higher school progress, better achievement, and, as a result, higher-income in the future. Considering these two issues, it is recommended to focus on both of them from a long-term perspective with the aim of achieving improved economic indicators. In this connection, the policymakers should consider some other advantages and drawbacks of small size classes and come up with new regulations, if required.
The importance of choice and competition for improving educational outcomes
Choice and competition are noted among the factors that positively affect educational outcomes as they are associated with school enrollment and meeting a higher level of performance. Even though there is limited data regarding the given topic, it is still possible to point out some key trends. Competition means the presence of public and private schools as well as the opportunity to choose among them. To compete, schools continuously try to implement the best strategies, models, and theories to increase their educational indicators. The structure of schools can also be a subject of competition. Charter schools may impact traditional public schools by taking their scarce resources for innovation promoted in the former. This is likely to deprive traditional schools of their good academic success and also lead to discrimination by race, religion, or the ability to learn. In general, evidence shows that there is a need to explore charter schools’ impact in further research to gather more details about them and understand them in a comprehensive manner.
The goals of accountability and incentive measures
The first goal of accountability and incentive measures is to leave no child behind, which means paying attention to every student’s performance and trying to improve it. This means that accountability is responsible for paying attention to every student from grades three to eight to measure a school’s performance. The second goal targets teaching and evaluating special skills and knowledge, including reading, writing, mathematics, and so on. The third goal is to implement relevant measuring tools based on the cumulative performance of students. Taken together, the mentioned goals are to ensure higher school performance. As part of an educational system, accountability is to be used as one more measure to monitor and control students’ progress. There are several models of accountability and incentives, each of which is useful in a school-based context.
In terms of the bill No Child Left Behind, policymakers introduced several accountability tests and initiatives. For example, a status model measures the aggregate performance of a school by focusing on the average grades of students. Another example is associated with test-based school accountability – the practice of determining, rewarding, and authorizing schools on the basis of the aggregated student grades. According to the growth model, student performance is evaluated based on year-to-year student educational indicators. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) may also be noted as a standardized test assessing student performance and elaborated by the Riverside Company. The described examples proved to be quite effective in schools, especially in math and reading scores among US students. For example, the study conducted among Chicago students shows that their scores increased significantly within the last two decades. Other initiatives and accountability examples are also useful to collect data and analyze it.