New Presidents, New Policies
New Presidents, New Policies
  • Dong-Won Kim
  • 승인 2009.09.03 21:30
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Barack Obama, President of the US is reforming the educational system. The main focus of these reforms is to lower dropout rates in high schools and middle schools in major cities. Currently 40% of middle and high school students in major American cities dropout. One of Obama's main educational policies is related to teachers. The policy will call for the closing of about 5 thousand underperforming primary, middle and high schools over the next 5 years. The policy will also address changing teachers and school representatives to make high quality schools. The Obama administration supports various training programs in each state, and teachers who complete these training programs will be given official recognition for completion. Obama also plans to educate teachers to improve their knowledge and technology. The Obama administration will allot 100 million dollars to create a partnership between middle schools, high schools, and universities.
In contrast, President Lee Myung-bak and his administration is trying to spark competition through teacher evaluations instead of teacher-related cooperation. President Lee Myung-bak and his administration proposes under this system to evaluate teachers based on their student's grades and class ranks. If the focus is on obtaining actual results, it will be difficult to accomplish effective development of students skills. Presient Lee Myung-Bak and his administration has shifted the responsibility to individual teachers instead make an offer variety of programs and supports. A teacher who gets poor evaluations will be disciplined. However, the teacher will not be fired immediately. Any teacher who receives a series of poor evaluations will undergo training not because they want to improve, but out of fear of being dismissed. In these cases, this kind of training will not help develop characteristics needed by the teachers.
These are just some of the differences in the educational reforms between the US and Korea. We must focus on the Obama government's reformation bill that promotes teachers cooperation and also keeps positive relations with teachers as a group. However, Obama's educational reforms also have problems. These reforms still reflect a rich-get-richer and poor-get-poorer gap. This gap is getting bigger and bigger everyday.

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