Social Issues Social Issues

EDT 362 -Social Issues A discusses social issues that are present in the
society. These issues are eight, and each has a major impact on society.
This paper will look at four issues discussed in the Wiki, and they
include legal drinking age, teacher unions, standardized testing and
teacher merit pay.
Issue 1:Legal drinking age
In the United States, the legal drinking age is twenty one years and
above but subject to individual state laws. However, most countries
around the world (eighty five percent) have a legal drinking age of
eighteen years and above. The high legal drinking age in the US presents
challenges such as irresponsible drinking, binge drinking, and drunk
driving (EDT 362- social issues A 2013).
The proposed solution is to lower the legal drinking age to eighteen
years. To overcome the problem of irresponsible drinking, there should
be training for all children under eighteen years on the dangers of
taking alcohol. Those who wish to take alcohol on turning eighteen must
complete highschool, undergo alcohol-training classes and receive a
license to allow them to take alcohol (EDT 362- social issues A 2013).
I agree with the proposed solution because, once everyone undergoes
training on the dangers of taking alcohol they are bound to make
informed choices. The licensing will also eliminate the problem of
students engaging in alcohol abuse. The thrill of taking alcohol which
comes with teenage also reduces greatly because there are no
restrictions once a person turns eighteen years.
Issue 2: Teacher unions.
The United States has two major teacher unions. They are tasked with
protecting the rights of teachers and protecting the interests of
teachers and school administrators at all learning levels. It, however,
emerges that these unions protect the rights of teachers at the
disadvantage of students and have been identified as a stumbling block
to reforms and changes within the education sector (EDT 362- social
issues A 2013).
The proposed solution is to increase the tenure qualification to ten
years, based on an evaluation of performance, increased educational
levels, attending conferences and seminars and keeping up to date with
technological advances. This will challenge teachers to perform better
and to improve their knowledge base. This is because their efforts will
determine their acquisition of tenure (EDT 362- social issues A 2013)
I do not agree with this as it will make teaching be a less attractive
profession due to the lack of job security. This will adversely affect
the education sector which already faces a shortage of teachers. The
tenure should be made renewable after a number of years, based on
Issue 3: Standardized testing
Standardized testing is a situation where all students take a similar
test at the end of every education level regardless of their strengths
and weakness. It is based on a system created by educators from all
states on what each child should know at the end of the year and which
they are tested on (EDT 362- social issues A 2013). The system does not,
however, test the growth of students and does not recognize individual
The proposed solution is an authentic assessment which is a holistic
approach that measures growth of each student based on their strengths
and weaknesses. Another solution is a portfolio-based assessment which
looks at the student’s work over a period of one year.
I think that the proposed solutions are good as they take into account
the individuality of students. The students are also assessed according
to their capabilities, and they are able to strengthen their talents and
Issue 4: Teacher merit pay.
This is a system where teachers are paid based on performance. The pay
is an addition to their regular pay and acts as an incentive for
improved performance by teachers. This is evaluated based on
extracurricular activities, standardized tests and training.
The proposed solutions include the evaluation of individual students to
determine growth, more means of testing and maintenance of the merits
system (EDT 362- social issues A 2013).
The proposed changes are good as the merit system seeks to reward
hardworking teachers and to motivate others to improve on their skills.
It also encourages good performance within the education system as it is
a motivation for teachers.
Issue 5: This will tackle an issue on the wiki which needs improvement.
The issue on the Achievement Gap is not holistically handled. The
background is not very clear on the origins and development. The
information provided is also vague, and it is not easy for a learner to
understand quickly, what is being discussed. I suggest that the authors
should try and clarify the issue to make it easy to grasp within a short
EDT 362- Social Issues A. (2013). Section A. United States: Creatives
Common Attribution.

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