Although the Bible is not the text of choice in the public education of today, the general purpose of a public school education is to teach youths reading and writing still using historical texts and helping them to develop a sense of morality. Mathematics, science and computer skills have been added into the mix of basic skills as time and technology have advanced. Now more than ever, educators and students are being held accountable for mastery of these subjects. With the institution of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the high school exit examinations in use in at least 23 of the 50 states, high-stakes testing is in the forefront of the subject matter taught in schools. Whether or not these institutions have made a beneficial impact on education remains to be seen.
Gone are the days when mom and dad sent their children to school with the expectation for them to try their hardest and obey the teacher. Society has changed drastically in less than twenty years. Today, the students in the classroom are more likely to dwell within a single-parent household or split time between two different households. In order for a parent to maintain or move into a higher socioeconomic status (SES) bracket, his or her focus is primarily on working to provide a living and not on the education of his or her child. Most often that job is left to the educators. It would be wrong to say that parents intentionally send their children to school to be taught the things children should learn at home, however, the high incidence of behavioral infractions I witnessed during six weeks of classroom observation would reflect that there is a break in communication between the parent and child, and the teacher is left to discipline the students. This is just a small issue in the way society has changed since the beginnings of public education. There is more crime surrounding lower SES communities, a higher incidence of childhood obesity, under-age drinking...