The Department of Education Needs Reforms

April 11, 2017

Young Joon Ha Glen A.Wilson High School 9th Grad

With major shake ups with the department of education, it is now a good opportunity for them to make major changes that are necessary for the U.S. to provide quality education to all students. Policies that regulate the amount of hours a student must work need to be reformed; policies that determine the amount of money spent for children with disabilities needs to be addressed; policies that determine which facilities are available for non-binary students must remain and be expanded.

Homework is supposed to be a short practice and review over all the lessons students learned during school, but what it’s actually doing is hurting your children. From CNN, “Parents reported first-graders were spending 28 minutes on homework versus the 10 minutes. For second graders, the homework time was nearly 29 minutes, as opposed to the 20 minutes recommended… the impact of excessive homework on high schoolers includes high stress levels, a lack of balance in children’s lives and physical health problems such as ulcers, migraines, sleep deprivation and weight loss.” It is recommended by the NEA for students to do 10 minutes in first grade, and 10 minutes additional to every grade level; however these studies show that students are given excessive homework. First and second graders are doing as much work as a third grader should be doing, and older students are becoming unhealthy because of excessive homework. If young students are working as hard as others that are a year or more older and high schoolers are becoming sick, then reforms are needed. Students at any grade level shouldn’t be at such overwhelming circumstances; they’re still at an early stage of life, and homework shouldn’t be a burden, but rather a short review.

In addition to the policies that regulate the amount of work students do, the department of education should also be looking into the struggles the parents of disabled children face. Already a big responsibility, these parents take incredible care of their children. However schools punish those parents by adding additional costs for sending them to an environment that accommodates to their growth. From the NEA, “The current average per student cost is $7,552 and the average cost per special education student is an additional $9,369 per student, or $16,921.” Parents that pay a hefty amount of money for their poor child’s health now have to pay for their education that is more than two times the average student’s cost. With so many costs that come with a disabled child, many parents aren’t ready to sustain and pay for all of the debt. This means financial difficulty for these families. When families have financial difficulties, they aren’t able to support themselves. When they aren’t able to support themselves then their child will lose opportunities. Families that care for a disabled child shouldn’t have to put up with these large expenses from special education; the families of disabled children are just like the families of others, so they shouldn’t be dealing with issues that come from their child’s education.

Furthermore, non-binary students face discrimination for using the facilities in schools. From the Human Rights Watch, “Tanya H., the mother of a nine year-old transgender boy named Elijah, recalled: ‘A year ago at this time, he was having a really hard time, and he’d go into the girl’s bathroom and girls would yell, “There’s a boy in here!” and he couldn’t go to the boys’ bathroom, and so he stopped going to the bathroom. There were a lot of meltdowns.” Non-binary students shouldn’t be alienated for being non-binary. This is why there are non-binary bathroom bills that passed to protect these students. However if these bills are repealed, then these students will feel discriminated because many schools don’t allow non-binary students to use the facilities in their school. So, we have to keep these policies and expand it so none of the student body would feel left out.

If these changes are made and expanded, then the Department of Education would be heading to the right direction to improving. It would not only just improve the school system but it would also improve the experience for students and accommodate with families that worry about their child’s health, education, and experience.


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