5 Issues in Education Today

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Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment has been around for many years, even centuries. Many schools allowed corporal punishment, but is it necessary to us it in public schools? Can it be taken too far?
Up until the 60s and 70s, corporal punishment was a natural thing in schools and as court sentences. It wasn't until the later part of the century that parents began to complain about the treatment of their children. Many parents believe that there are other options of punishment and discipline that schools can use. There have been cases where students were severely punished for ridiculous reasons, such as kissing or cuddling with someone of the opposite sex.

Fortunately, for all the parents that disagree with corporal punishment, so does the government because very few schools practice it anymore. In 1988, nine states barred corporal punishment for schools in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, and California. Many people believe that corporal punishment signals to the child that the way to settle personal problems is through violence and pain and they may resort to it themselves. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that corporal punishment may affect a student's self image and could cause them to have disruptive and violent behavior.

There are many alternatives to corporal punishment in schools, such as in school suspension, detention, and other such punishments. Also teachers are urged to use behavior contracts, use positive reinforcement or appropriate behavior, and encourage disciplinary consequences, which are meaningful to students. But the school should be able to provide the students with social skills training and individualized and group counseling.

Is corporal punishment bad or good? I believe that the parents should have the option of the way that they would like the school to handle it. My personal opinion is from a personal experience. My parents gave the school the right to spank me and trust me that was enough of a threat to me! I knew that I had to behave or I would get a spanking at school, and again once I got home from my mom and dad. If a teacher ever said to me, "you're getting time out or you're getting a mark in your folder," that did nothing for me, but the minute they said "spanking" I straightened up. Corporal punishment made me want to do good and not get in trouble. I do see some truth in some of the opposing opinion. In the end, I think it should be the parent's choice.

Standardized Testing
Is standardized testing beneficial to our nation's children? Standardized tests are made to judge a child's intelligence in order to place them at certain levels in school. Couldn't teachers do the same job, being around students for the school year should enable him or her to judge the levels of intelligences? Everyone should know the benefits and the downfalls in order to understand the necessity.

Some of the benefits of standardized testing are that they evaluate the school programs and teachers. This ensures that all students gain the best knowledge from the best teachers and available programs. Standardized testing also documents a student's progress throughout the year, allowing teachers to know what areas a particular student has strengths and/or weaknesses in. Also by knowing a students level of skills it will give them the chance to be involved in special programs or groups, and eventually good scores on the tests will ensure a high school diploma or other such certificates. When a student does well on the SATs or TAAS/TAKS, it allows them the chance to be accepted into college, to be eligible for financial aid, and also exempts them from having to take other placement tests at the college level.

Even though there are many beneficial effects of standardized tests, many people express different opinions. Many students say that when in high school taking the TAAS/TAKS to much emphasis was placed on the test instead of on...
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