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American Scholar 2003

            Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote "The American Scholar" about his concerns and ideas about the education of his day. His concerns were justifiable, because there were many problems with the education systems in the mid 19th century. Although many improvements have been made and remedies considered over the years, there are still problems and there will always be room for improvement. I also have a few concerns about education today. Although I am neither studied nor wise in the area of education, I have worked my way through the system for twelve years and do believe that I have several worthwhile concerns and possible improvements.
             One of the main debates over education is that of public versus private. I have experienced the benefits and drawbacks of both, and I have found that private schooling is beneficial for the right person. Many students have trouble in public school because there are too many distractions in their peers. It would be unfair to say that the students in public school are of a lower intelligence or have less work ethic than those in private school, but in a way I have found it to be true. There are always students in both systems who don't want to be there and will slow down their peers, but the masses of that type are in public school and not private. I found it more difficult to stay focused and succeed academically while I was in public school. The pace and level of challenge in private school is also elevated which encourages students to rise to the challenge. Public school can be argued for also, because many will say that public education has a more diverse, real world experience as opposed to the "bubble" environment of sheltered (especially single sex) private schools.
             Another major problem involving the teaching and testing of students, more so in public than private school, is the emphasis placed on standardized testing. To graduate high school no matter what system they are in, students must pass proficiency tests.

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