Sample Essay

Over the years, it has been argued with an increasing alarm that America as a nation is continuously falling behind its European partners and Asian counterparts in terms of its educational achievements, as evident by the various global educational rankings produced year after year.

While there is universal acceptance across America that this poor showing is a sign of an ever-increasing deterioration in our educational system and the standards that it was meant to uphold, a confluence of factors is being blamed for the alarming rate at which these problems have exacerbated over the last quarter of the century.

 In order to better comprehend these problems, one has to first understand the very system that they afflict and the various components that make this system what it is today.  In its present form, the American system of education owes its origins to the reform movements of the nineteenth century, especially the Common School Movement, which had resulted in the formation of a public school system. 

These movements had gained a tremendous momentum since the successful conclusion of the American Civil War, and were primarily aimed at the elimination of the network of private educational academies that had failed to arrive at a common curriculum, and whose standard of education being imparted greatly varied from one to the other – depending on the social background of the pupils attending them.  Increasingly seen as remnants of the colonial era, these academies were blamed for further widening the chasm between the haves and the have-nots, depriving the latter of any meaningful chance of upward social mobility. 

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