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The K-12 education system in the US is undergoing some major changes. The reason behind this is the drastic increase of student dropouts, low grades, and higher stress levels of students. The US is starting to fall behind the other foreign countries that also use the K-12 education system.
Recent studies have shown that now, roughly 70 percent of all ninth graders in the US will move on to high school, and less than 20 percent of them will actually go to college and graduate. And with the most jobs these days requiring at least a high school diploma, unemployment will be an issue in the coming years. Because of these sad numbers the government has decided that certain changes must be made.
The presidential administration led by President George W. Bush tried to curb the increase in dropout rates by spearheading the No Child Left Behind Policy. This program aims to put more focus on a child's early learning, pointing out that children who know how to read, or at least knows that reading starts from left to right, and top to bottom, greatly affects their performance once they start school.
This program also helps the parents by giving them more detailed reports about their children's achievements. The school provides parents with up to date information regarding their child's progress and also information about how the school as a whole is doing as well.
The No Child Left Behind Policy also gives the parents the option of letting their children transfer into another school in their area if they are not satisfied with the performance of the school they are currently enrolled in. If transferring schools is not an option then the federal government will provide the child with tutoring or after school remedial classes.
Improving K-12 education system is also one of the top priorities of the current Obama administration. No changes were made on the previous administration's No Child Left Behind Policy but he urges it to live up to its expectations by making sure that educators get proper funding and deliver great results.
The changes that President Obama pushed for is for the K-12 educational system to have world-class standards in math and the sciences, he also called for schools to focus more on "21st Century skills" like problem-solving and analytical thinking, creativity, and others. Under the current administration, teachers are given merit pay, so that teachers are given a reason to improve.
Study programs are also on the rise right now, though most of them are for college entrance exams, there are still many that prepare outgoing middle-schoolers who are hoping to get into an elite high school. The reason for this is that colleges and universities nowadays are saying that admitting students based on their scores on the SAT's and the ACT's are no longer a viable option. Which is why a new form of achievement tests is needed to predict how they will do in college, this way students can focus more on their schoolwork rather than in preparation courses.
The age of computer users these days are getting younger, elementary school children are now able to use a computer rather well. This is because many pre-school programs are now incorporating computers in teaching children, though not to teach them early on about computers, but as a way to make learning more fun for the children.
Some people say that these changes have been a long time in coming, but they are still welcome anyway. These major movements in K-12 education hope to make the US educational system once again reach the top spot in the world rankings.