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Functions of Education in America

Identify the goal of education in America.
Explain the structure of American education.
Demonstrate the relationship between American education and American culture. Identify significant policy issues in education.
Synthesize and use information about the various points of view regarding policy and legal issues.
Examine the role of the policy makers in the Department of Education with respect to the United States.
Analyze sociological, economic, and political factors and perceptions that underlie federal and state policies, education, and training systems.

Solution Preview

A society's future largely depends on the successful socialization of new members. Young members must be taught their society's norms and values and the skills necessary to continue the work of the older generation. The U.S. has developed a compulsory, free education system for its citizens. As part of this education system, young Americans will learn the values, norms, cultural expectations of our country. They will also be trained for occupational placement. Another important goal of education is social control. This is often called the "hidden curriculum". Children are given subtle messages such as obedience to authority while they participate in school. They are also taught to be punctual, stand in line, take turns, be quiet and attentive, and to be obedient. For most Americans, education is the key to social mobility. Thus, the ultimate goal of education it so ensure that American values, ideals, culture are passed on to a new generation while providing the skills and knowledge necessary to help America compete in a global economy.
After the Industrial Revolution, the school system has struggled with the occupational placement of these young citizens. Graduating from high school is no longer sufficient to help individuals find satisfying careers that they can support their families with. Thus, educational reform has become a major issue for our governments both local and national. Currently, the U.S. Department of Education has four goals in place to improve education: (1) Build a solid foundation for learning for all children, (2) Reform the current system to make it the best in the world, (3) ensure all children have access to high-quality education, and (4) make education a high-performing organization. ...

Solution Summary

There is a distinct link between education and culture in America. This link has created policy and legal issues that are being examined. Education must evolve in order to help the U.S. be competitive.