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With the continuing decline in the average performance of American students as compared to those around the world, there are a growing number of people who are no longer satisfied with the job the government is doing to educate our children. This division is splitting people into three main categories: those who favor maintaining the current system, those who think the current system needs to be improved and those that think we should completely do away with our current system.

One of the first arguments made to show that our current educational system is in serious trouble is that the United States ranked eighteenth (out of twenty-four) in a recent UNICEF study of educational effectiveness. This study looked at five separate international studies in establishing its rankings. This, along with other facts, is being used to help further the argument that the government has failed us when it comes to our countries educational system. The argument for fixing this system is to completely take the government out of the educational process and to privatize the system. This argument cites the United States Postal Service as a common example. With the advent of email and faxes, as well as competition from UPS and Fed-Ex, the USPS has been expanding. The USPS has branched into Internet based transactions, and all of the companies involved have made giant leaps forward in the products and services available to us, the consumer. In opening up schools to a similar type of competition, we could start to see advances in the methods of education, and an increase in the overall levels of American education. To get this type of system to work successfully, there would have to be some sort of program that makes any school available to any student, not just those who could afford it. The best possible solution to this would be a universal voucher system that would give every student the same opportunity to attend any school.

The second group agrees that our current system is in dire need of reform, however, they disagree that privatization of our educational system is the way to go. By privatizing education, it is argued, we would simply encourage the top schools to charge the most money. This would exclude those students who are most in need of the better education offered. They point out that if completely privatized, there would be no checks and balances to prevent schools from discriminating against any particular group of students. What this group argues for is simply a restructuring of our educational system. Some feel that it has already been started with the No Child Left Behind Act, but most in this group seem to feel that this is either too little change or simply completely ineffective.




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