Five Ways to Fix America's Schools

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Brent Adams
Professor Khalastchi
RHETCOMP 1
15 December 2009
“Levy’s Five Ways to Fix America’s Schools; Without a Tool Box” You are helping your 3rd grade child with their English homework and you start to think to yourself, school certainly was harder back in my day. Then, you’re out to lunch at the mall on a workday and notice a few high school-age kids skipping school and hanging out, so you ask yourself; is the American education system crumbling? Do we still hold the top spot in educating our children? In “Five Ways to Fix America’s Schools,” an op-ed article that was published in The New York Times on June 8th, 2009, Harold O. Levy, a former chancellor of New York City schools, contends America’s educational system is no longer the best in the world. Levy comes up with several ways that the American education can return to being the juggernaut that it once was, and he provides five specific ways to repair or “fix” it. First, he states that we need to raise the age of compulsory education to 19. Second, Levy pushes the point of enforcing stricter truancy punishments. Third, Levy argues more aggressive and creative advertising for college enrollment. Fourth, Levy insists on getting rid of private college accreditation reports. Lastly, Levy states that the biggest advancement we can make in higher education starts with producing better-qualified candidates. Although Levy effectively establishes his ethos, he struggles to fully demonstrate his logos and pathos, which causes his article to be insufficiently persuasive. While Levy does raise valid points, he seems to have direct his article at the wrong audience. Dr. Levy’s intended audience becomes clear when you take a look at the vernacular and language he uses. Throughout the essay he uses complex words, but specifically in paragraph eight he uses the words, egregious and eliciting, and only someone with a fairly developed vocabulary would know their definition. It’s evident that he aimed his...
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