A Complete Overview of the Modern Education in the USA

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The new normal in the modern education system in the USA in my opinion is a mix of positives and negatives. Many of these changes are ongoing. There are massive trends of changes taking place in the education system in the USA. My only hope is that these changes are going toward positive like equity and innovation so all learners emerge to thrive, lead and succeed.  If you need assignment writing help then you should hire our top assignment writers.

Continue reading to find how the modern education system in the USA is so different that it was.

  1. Classrooms have become more crowded

 With the growing rate of children enrolling in public schools, individual classes are also growing. As compared to the increased enrolment rate, the USA isn’t building enough new schools. Due to this major issue, some educators even feel like running crowd control is their primary function rather than teaching.

Here is an example: During the 2009-2010 school year, classrooms in Nevada encountered the biggest jump. Their average class size was 28. Later by 2016-2017, it jumped to 36.

  1. Change in the student demographics

The majority of students who got enrolled in public schools were white. According to the National Center for Education Statistics report, 52.4% of PK-12 students used to be white, 23.1% were Hispanic, and 2.45 were from two or more races.  

However, in the fall of 2019, as per the NCES report, there was a sudden drop in white students to 46.6%. Hispanic enrolment increased to 27.4%, and 4.2% of students from other races got enrolled. According to the research, the increase in diversity comes due to academic accomplishments.

  1. Increased English-language learners in public schools

Increased diversity brings people of different life experiences and worldviews in one place. There is a wider collection of languages inside the classroom. Non-native English-speaking students tend to participate in language assistance programs to meet the requirement of English proficiency and to meet the academic standard that students are expected to meet. Spanish is the most common language spoken among students studying in US schools.

  1. Disappearance of playtime

According to the 2019 study that got published in the American Journal of Play, students are not getting enough play time for increased pressure to improve test scores. Playtime took a backseat to necessary test preparation for 2009’s reinvestment and American Recovery Act. As a result, students fail to learn valuable social skills like being rational and fair, resolving conflicts, or making clearer communication.

  1. Increased overall school spending

In the fall of 2019, the National Center for Education announced that the primary and secondary schools in the US would spend more than $680 billion for their new school year. On average, the total amount per public school to have spent was $13,440. The school year during 2010-1011 was $527.3 overall and was $10,663 per pupil.

  1. Decreased ratio of student-to-counsellor

Students who are going through extreme anxiety about their school performance should attend school counselors. As per the American School Counselor Association report, during the 2016-2017 school year, the national student-to-counselor ratio was 455-1. In the last 31 years, this is considered the lowest ratio.

  1. Staggering growth of online education

Online learning previously was not really used in the education sector. It was mostly reserved for the college set. In the year 2010, there was a spike of 1.5 million students who were attending online courses. The number went to 2.7 million by 2013. Much to my surprise, in the Brown Center Chalkboard study, it was found 20% middle school and high school credits are completed in a single online learning program.

It is true that online education allows flexibility, but the brown Center Chalkboard discovered some really negative impacts, like “Lack of engagement with the material” and “grouping ability”.

  1. More focus on STEM

Next generation Science Standards (NGSS), the science curriculum equivalent of Common Core, was released in 2013. The changed curriculum played a vital role in the increased investments in STEM programs. It turned out to be a clear guide on how to meet the rigorous standards. Over the last decade, the emphasis on the NGSS and STEM only continued to grow. During the 2018 fiscal year, the Trump administration allocated $279 million in STEM discretionary grant funds. 

  1. Major decline in home-schooling

One of the popular forms of education was homeschooling, which let individual families take control of what their children were actually learning at a moving pace. However, in the last decade, it fell out of fashion. On taking incremental data on homeschooled students from age 5-17 and recent reports from 2012 and 2016, the National Center for Education Statistics shows a 6% decrease in homeschooling.

  1. Disappointing remuneration of teachers

According to the National Education Association, it has been known that the average salary for teachers has gone down to 4.5% over the last decade. In 63% school districts around the USA, it has been reported that the starting salaries for public school teachers are below $40,000. As compared to other professionals, teachers are paid 21.4% less.

  1. Increased anxiety about school performance

When it comes down to performance in school, there has been an undeniable shift in the level of anxiety students experiencing in the modern American education system. Back in 2013, there was a report of 45% of students felt extremely stressed from school pressures. Even 61% of students reported the same thing by 2019. A lot of professionals have linked this increased pressure to the academic pressure that students face when attending a four-year college or university after graduation.

  1. Improved rates of graduation

As per the calculation for the first time in 2010, the adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) accounts for dropouts, transfers, and deaths during the course of class four’s year of the high school experience. This resulted in an increased rate of on-time graduations. The average coverage of the country in 2010 was 79%, and it was 85% in 2017.

  1. Change in the student loan debt

Over the last decade, there has been a major rise in student debt. Student loans in 2010 totaled $830 billion. However, it exploded to $1.41 trillion in 2019. Such overwhelming debt greatly impacts how high schoolers think about their futures. Right from scoring well on the SAT/ACT to researching the top university programs, college preparation has been a huge part of their high school experience. However, high school students are choosing to skill college altogether due to their paralyzing debt situation.


In my opinion, the modernized US education system still has a long way to go. While I won’t refuse that several areas have improved, like changes in the demographics and improved rates of graduation but at the same time, I also cannot overlook the situation of teachers, loan debts, and students not getting enough playtime.

AUTHOR BIO:  Sarah Johnson is a high school teacher at one of the top-ranking high schools in the USA. She is also a part of MyAssignmenthelp.com, one of the best assignment help writing services in the USA.  

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