Importance of Education

Topics: Higher education, Education, Barack Obama Pages: 5 (1569 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Did you know that in today’s economy, in America, there is a higher need for highly skilled workers with credentials? President Obama is pushing for more college graduates to get degrees so they can live above the poverty level in America. A college education is a must if you want to keep up with the economy today. Having an education was not important a couple of centuries ago, but today’s society is different where more than a high school diploma is needed to make it in the economy (Pretlow III & Wathington, 2012). Minorities are the one’s most affected from lack of education mainly because of high tuition fees and rates.

A couple of centuries ago, education was not required to live above the poverty level. Since the colonial days, government and community leaders have been trying to come up with different ways to effectively educate children. In the colonial days, children were taught trades instead of a general education because unskilled workers were needed. Most of the students, taught by tutors, on an one on one basis, or in a small group were uneducated because they went to school to just learn about religion. The majority of those students were Partisans or Congregationalists. Having an education in religion started to decline as different people migrated to America. Thomas Jefferson and other reformers also help change the way education was taught in America because they believed education should have not included religious beliefs. Reformers also opposed the idea of only the wealthy being able to obtain an education. Reformers spoke out on education saying crime and poverty would go down if people received a quality education. By the end of the colonial period, reformers made a way for every child to at least have a elementary education. They made a way for students of all races, nationalities, and sex. The last change to the educational system was passed under the Bush administration which included the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (Burke & Sheffield, 2013). The NCLB was to improve the quality of education and the teachers.

The G.I. Bill permanently changed people’s perception on who could benefit from a higher education (Heller, 2012). The G.I. Bill is financial assistance for education and housing for veterans returning from war after being injured or honorably discharged. Veterans were one of the first people who could benefit from the G.I. Bill because the government feared that it would be a high unemployment rate of Veterans coming home from war. After the G.I. Bill was passed veterans enrolled in college at an alarming rate. The veterans passed college with the highest marks through dean’s lists and honor rolls. Prior to the G.I. Bill, a small amount of American college students were graduating with credentials. Since the G.I. Bill started, the veterans went to college and after that their kids went to college, known as the baby boomers. During the baby boom era, people started enrolling in college at unprecedented numbers (Heller, 2012). The government saw the need for all people to continue their education after high school, so they started financial funding for community colleges and universities.

To be sure, not all Americans have benefited equally from this expansion of opportunity. Particularly students from low-income or minority ethnic groups have been, and still are, poorly served at all levels of education. By any real-world standard, our nation led the world in higher education and its leadership was acknowledged even by its critics. There is no question that American higher education is one of the greatest success stories of the 20th century—a success that expanded the economy and built the American middle class (Heller, 2012). Our nation has redefined higher education to include the previously underserved, those who were traditionally written off because they did not fit the conventional idea of a college student.

In today‘s economy, American higher education is still in rude...
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