You can`t put a dollar amount on education

A good, solid education is paramount to a child’s development into adulthood. We must put our Kids First, for a Change so that they mature to become productive members of society. Gaining knowledge makes a young child become an asset to their community and the world at large, because it gives them the ability to understand and interpret issues correctly and devise workable solutions. The alternative could lead to increase crime and lack of productivity. Education helps shape future leaders; this is why it is extremely important that we invest in the education of our children.

The United States is a world leader in many regards; however, in the area of academic achievement—across the country--our students are mostly average. In 2012, the Program for International Student Assessment reported that American students rank behind students in countries like Finland and China in mathematics and science-related subjects. Today, the majority of American kids don’t pursue higher education.Therefore, it has become even more necessary to invest in primary and secondary education (K-12 education). If most millennials only have a high school diploma, then it is imperative that they are exposed to the best quality of education possible to equip them to handle life’s challenges and meet the standards of the global marketplace.

There is a clear relationship between a proper education and the success and life enjoyment of students, and having a quality education system requires huge investments, especially on the part of the government. Researchers (Larry V. Hedges and Rob Greenwald) have found that an increase in financial investment, along with effective resource allocation, has a positive impact on student performance.

This investment is two-pronged: investing in school structure and investing in quality educators. Investment in school infrastructure plays a huge part in improving the quality of education. The availability of proper resources such as libraries, laboratories and equipment, state of the art buildings, computers and audio-visual resources is extremely important for proper education of students.Research (by both Mark Schneider and Robert Scott McGowen) has shown that the quality of school facilities such as air quality, lighting and ventilation and classroom space could also affect student performance, so proper facilities should be made available as well. These are all issues that have a real close implication for students in Prince George’s County.Also, human resources are the most important part of any organization; therefore, teachers should be professionally groomed to deliver quality instruction to students. We have to invest in the education of our teachers and create a system that adequately prepares them for the task ahead. They should also be properly incentivized and rewarded for their efforts.Prince George’s County Public School System cannot be just a stepping-stone for educators. We want to retain our skilled educators.

It is imperative that we invest in reforming the education system so as to improve student performance. In the county we have one of the largest school districts in the United States, therefore investing in K-12 education should be in the interest of Prince George’s County, but in the nation too. More importantly, the county is one of the most affluent counties in America, and we can handle reform so long as the dollars are going where they should go (to better our schools). No amount of investment is too large when it concerns the future of our kids.

One of such reforms would be the modernization of educational materials and infrastructure; this will make learning more exciting and appealing to young students.This can be achieved through several means, for example:

1. Use of Smart Technology: Nowadays, most schools in the country make use of smart boards in classrooms, but many of the schools in the 6th district still utilize chalkboards. Smart technology is interactive, easy to use and maintain, and enhances the learning experience for students.It is also environmentally friendly and allows access to online information.The use of smart boards also increases student participation during classes.

2. Incorporation of further Educational Technological advances: The integration of and acceptance of the new way of times is essential to growth and improvement. It is cost savings as it eliminates the cost of textbook purchasing. It is also environmentally friendly, and allows for the creation of personalized lesson plans for each student—lessons tailored to student’s specific learning styles. This is huge. This is what we need to close the educational gap. The use of digital curricula is highly beneficial as it makes teaching easier for the instructors and makes learning enjoyable for students, andthis goes a long way in improving the quality of education we provide.

Another area for reform would be reducing the ratio of students to teachers. This is a huge problem due to high number of school enrolments in the county, but it is one that needs to be solved. In 2014, the student to teacher ratio in Prince George’s county was reported to be 15 to 1, which is the average recommended student to teacher ratio. However, enrolment rates have increased since then, so it is safe to assume that there would be an increase in the ratio as well. It is important that children receive proper care and attention and the teacher needs to be able to accommodate each student. A lower student to teacher ratio allows the teachers to adopt a personalized approach to teaching with each student according to their most comfortable learning style. It is also important to invest in equipping teachers with the necessary support, such as skill development and trainings, to enable them to provide the best education to our children.

Investing in education is necessary because it is paramount that learning environments are conducive for students to ensure good mental stimulation and productivity. It is high time we revamped the educational system in Prince George’s county, to avoid putting our kids at a disadvantage compared to their peers both nationally and globally. It might be an expensiveendeavor, but it is definitely one that our county can afford and it will prove to be a worthy investment. After all, you cannot put a dollar amount on education.