The Internet Archive as an Educational Technology Tool

Foreword: This essay was written in November of 2020. I’m publishing it today, March 20th, 2023, in solidarity with the Internet Archive. More information about the Hachette v. Internet Archive lawsuit can be found on the Electronic Frontier Foundation website, the Library Futures website, and the Battle For the Libraries website by the advocacy group Fight For the Future.

The Internet Archive is a useful technology tool that has several factors to consider ethical usage for educational purposes. I am for the use of the Internet Archive for usage in an educational context because the content that might be used by an instructor would be specifically chosen and relevant to course material. Content that is used for educational purposes would be considered under Fair Use, as no one is profiting financially, but rather learning and engaging with content that might otherwise be unobtainable. Webpages that may no longer exist, videos and software that may otherwise be unobtainable, and books and newspapers that are difficult to obtain would still be able to be referenced.

Some arguments for using the Internet Archive for educational materials is the belief that information wants to be shared and that information wants to be free. By using materials that would otherwise be more rare or difficult to obtain for educational purposes, it can enlighten minds to think differently. Because specifically chosen content would be used under Fair Use, there would be freedom to apply and use the material as seen fit to the instructor to benefit the students and would be ethical from a contractual standpoint of the law. Students could benefit from viewing different eras of information from a unique perspective.

Some arguments against using the Internet Archive for educational material is that there could be information that publishers may have wanted to obtain a profit when used or educational purposes. By using the Internet Archive to obtain these materials, one is circumventing the systems provided by the publisher. Fair Use and copyright often overlap and can be viewed as grey area from a legal standpoint. While typically information is preferred to be available for lower-cost or free for educational purposes, creators of content have put work and effort into the creation, and therefore their labor would not be compensated for, which can be seen as an ethical problem.

In conclusion, using the Internet Archive for educational purposes is a good practice if done carefully and correctly. Content should be relevant to course material and used as such. Because of the free and open atmosphere of the Internet Archive, one still needs to apply how they use the material, crediting the authors and creators, and not circumventing them. Materials obtained from the Internet Archive should typically not be sold or used for profit unless they are in the Public Domain or especially have a license to do so. In an educational context, this is an unlikely occurrence, as generally the only profit would be gained knowledge.


Alcohol Addiction: The Difficulties and Causes

Alcohol addiction is always portrayed as a depressing and unfortunate evil that needs to be managed by twelve-step programs and maintaining sobriety. Different factors and causes for alcoholism exist, such as traumatic events and depression. Depending on gender, likelihood, and style of treatment differs. While financial income and socio-economic status can contribute to alcoholism, the effect is often the reverse of what public opinion assumes it to be. Sexual orientation can be a cause of depression and stress, which can lead to alcohol addiction. While alcoholic beverages are a socially accepted substance that can be consumed in many different forms, they are abused often and can be more difficult for some alcoholics to maintain sobriety than others. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states:

According to NESARC, 8.5 percent of adults in the United States met the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, whereas 2 percent met the criteria for a drug use disorder and others. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states:1.1 percent met the criteria for both. People who are dependent on drugs are more likely to have an alcohol use disorder than people with alcoholism are to have a drug use disorder. Young people ages 18–24 had the highest rates of co-occurring alcohol and other drug use disorders (see figure). Men were more likely than women to have problems with alcohol, drugs, or the two substances combined.

The actual cause of alcoholism, also known as “Alcohol Use Disorder” or AUD, is still unknown. However, there is a strong link between alcoholism and depression, and nearly one-third of people with major depression also have an alcohol problem (WebMD, 2005-2017, paragraphs 3-4). Having anxiety, schizophrenia, or a high amount of stress increases the risk of becoming an alcoholic (Healthline, 2017, paragraph 3). Alcohol addiction is also known to be hereditary, and there have been studies about genes being associated with it. However, genetics isn’t always a factor, and people with these associated gene variants aren’t necessarily prone to addiction.

Diversity Lenses of Alcoholism


While there is a difference between men and women when it comes to the likelihood of becoming an alcoholic, different factors such as pregnancy, trauma and injury are more associated. Because of body size differences, women generally get more intoxicated than men from the same amount of alcohol. Also, alcohol use and abuse have been associated with people in the workforce because of stress and social demand. Since more women have been entering the workforce in the past century, an increase in female drinking has occurred (Ghosh P. 2012). Men are twice as likely as women to become dependent upon alcohol because men are more likely to drink excessively (CDC, 2016). While men make up about sixty percent of the number of people being treated for alcoholism, and are more likely to find treatment before women, they often hesitate to find treatment because they believe it acknowledges a weakness, affects their masculinity, their ego or they feel they are letting people down (Gender and Substance Abuse).

Socio-economic Status

Alcoholism is linked to stress and depression based on people’s socio-economic status., People may be more stressed and turn to alcohol or narcotics. Lesser-educated individuals tend to have a higher intake of alcohol than more highly-educated individuals. Based on income, however, higher-income individuals tend to drink more than lower-income individuals (Addiction among Socioeconomic Groups). Better treatment for drug and alcohol abuse is more accessible for people of higher income, and is easier to be discreet about, which is why there is a stereotype that more people lower on the socio-economic scale are alcoholics (Straus, V. 2013).

Sexual Orientation

Possibly as much as twenty-five percent of gay and transgender people abuse alcohol, compared to anywhere from five to ten percent of the rest of the general population (Hunt, J. 2012). There are a number of reasons that this is so, including prejudice, and discrimination, the feeling of isolation. All of these factors can lead to depression, in which people often use alcohol to drink away their problems. Another reason why alcohol is often associated with people of non-heterosexual orientation is that up until very recently, the only practical way to meet other people of the same orientation was to go to a designated bar, often secretly and not always legally.

Stages of Alcohol Abuse

Social Drinking

Before alcohol consumption is considered abusive, there is casual drinking, in moderation. This is generally an accepted amount of intakes, such as a glass of beer, or a few shots of whiskey (Social Drinking vs. Alcoholism, 2013). This  usually introduces the body to alcohol.

Binge Drinking

            People may experiment with how much they can drink at a time. Having many servings at a time causes the body to start craving more and builds a tolerance (Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse: MedlinePlus).

Heavy Drinking

            Eventually, the drinking becomes more frequently, such as many times a day, because it makes the body feel good. This is often because of stress or boredom.

Problem Drinking

            Once a person starts becoming antisocial, the body feels sick, and loss of sleep or depression occurs, drinking has become a problem. Relationship issues can occur, and drinking eventually becomes uncontrollable.

Alcohol Dependence

            Finally, the body requires alcohol to operate. Intake of recreational levels of alcohol is useless because the body has developed a tolerance. The body goes through withdrawal whenever alcohol isn’t available. The only way to stop being alcohol dependent is to go through detoxification, either professionally or otherwise.


In summary, the cause of alcoholism is unknown. While there is research material that shows it is hereditary, these conclusions are not absolute. While gender is a factor, it could be because women do not have the same metabolism as men, or because women haven’t significantly been in the workforce until the past century, which could be associated with their likelihood to drink. The socio-economic status of drinkers isn’t a cause for alcoholism, but may reveal the tendencies of an alcoholic based on the stress levels or how they may get dependent on alcohol, and whether they can afford to or not. People who have had more education are less likely to get addicted, but people with a higher income are more likely. Sexual orientation can attract discrimination and isolation, which often cause stress, which in turn can lead people to turn to drugs and alcohol. Finally, everyone responds to alcohol differently, so different people may have higher tolerance levels and likelihoods of becoming alcohol dependent.


Addiction among Socioeconomic Groups. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse: MedlinePlus. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

CDC (2016, March 07). Fact Sheets – Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men’s Health. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Gender and Substance Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Ghosh, P. (2012, December 29). The Alcoholism Gender Gap: Why Are More U.S. Women Becoming Problem Drinkers? Retrieved December 10, 2017, from becoming-problem-drinkers-316486

Healthline. (2017, August 23). Alcoholism. Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms.
Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Hunt, J. (2012, March 9). Why the Gay and Transgender Population Experiences Higher Rates of Substance Use. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from content/uploads/issues/2012/03/pdf/lgbt_substance_abuse.pdf

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA). (2008, July). Publications.
Alcohol and Other Drugs Retrieved January 25, 2009, from

Social Drinking vs. Alcoholism. (2013, November 19). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

Strauss, V. (2013, October 28). Five stereotypes about poor families and education. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from stereotypes-about-poor-families-and-education/

T, B. (2017, December 5). How to Tell the Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Dependence. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from

WebMD. (2005 – 2009). Depression Guide. Alcohol and Depression. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from


Deadly Justice

Dexter Morgan from the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay is a fictional vigilante serial killer who can be compared to the criminal justice system because he was taught that it wasn’t adequate for society. His police officer adoptive-father helped him control his murderous impulses by limiting his victims to only people who were serial killers, especially those who managed to get out of the prison system or were let off the hook completely because of loopholes in the judicial system. His brutal method was to background-check and track down a potential serial killer to confirm if they were guilty. Once absolute, he would knock the victim unconscious and tie them to a table covered in saran wrap. His victim would then wake up to pictures of their victims in order that they would understand why they were guilty, and then Dexter would ceremoniously murder the victim with a knife. This could be compared a rogue police officer who intentionally murders during an arrest, or to the death penalty, where a criminal has been caught, gone through a fair trial and declared guilty enough to receive the death sentence. The difference between Dexter’s and the criminal justice system’s methods is that only the latter generally follows US constitutional law while Dexter’s methods follow what his father taught him.

Police misconduct is a common theme for Dexter. He works in the Miami-Dade Police Department as a forensic blood-splatter analyst, while his adoptive sister is a police officer who later gets promoted. While police are portrayed positively, there are exceptions where a cop may go rogue, even within the police station. In real life, police officers are an essential part of our society. There are some bad apples, but it is often difficult to distinguish true police brutality from officers who are only doing their job. Because officers need to rely on their better judgment to properly react to situations, the amount of force that would be necessary is based on many different factors, and they often need to decide on how to react in seconds. If someone appears to be holding a gun and refuses to comply when told to drop it, better judgment would be to assume that the person could cause serious harm, and would also likely resist arrest. Unfortunately, there are instances that happen frequently, where racial discrimination occurs, or a situation is not properly dealt with because of a bad judgment call. Body-worn cameras have been proving as an effective method to lower the amount of police brutality drastically, but are not currently cost-effective because of the archiving costs (Dees). President-elect Donald Trump supports body-worn cameras and that federal funding should be available for them, but believes it should be up to the individual states on whether their use should be mandatory (Jacobs). Eventually, police brutality can become a thing of the past, should the proper preventions be put in place.

Another act in the criminal justice system that can be compared to Dexter is the death penalty. Lethal injections, and in some states the electric chair are the most common ways that the criminal justice system uses for criminals with a death sentence. The death sentence can only be applicable to a case if an accuser specifically requests it. On the other hand, Dexter’s victims all receive death by knife, which is extensively more painful and primitive than lethal injections. Usage of the death penalty in the US varies throughout the states. An increasing amount of states chose to no longer use the “cruel and unusual punishment” of death because it could be unconstitutional (Gonchar). Occasionally, there are criminals who request the death penalty, because they would choose to believe that life in the prison system is worse than death.

The prison system of today is an overcrowded money-generating machine. For every occupant, a high amount of tax-payer money is provided for food, clothing, etc. Prisons are often acquired by large corporations who want to generate continuous revenue. By privatizing a prison, it can have a higher occupancy than a public prison and earn an extensively higher amount of revenue. In fact, companies such as the Corrections Corporations of America have a clause in their contracts with prisons to require anywhere from 70 to 100 percent occupancy and will penalize those prisons if they can’t meet that quota (Kirkham). Because of this, many prisoners who could potentially leave early due to good behavior are often restricted from leaving. Alternatively, when prisons overcrowd, they may let out felons who had a life sentence without parole (Wallin & Klarich Law). This is why many judges might hand out consecutive life sentences to ensure the convicted remain in prison.

For Dexter, the criminal justice system is not something he fully believes in. To him, it contains loopholes and leniencies that could prevent proper justice. He is the “judge, jury, and executioner” in the sense that he is controlling his impulses to kill only those who would deserve it and no one else. It would seem that not only are his methods are unlawful, but some of the methods of the criminal justice system are as well. Those methods that are compliant with the Constitution, such as its policies on the proper policing, the death penalty, and the prison system are either too lenient or too corrupt to provide proper justice in our society.

Works Cited:

Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Digital image. Doubleday, 6 Sept. 2011. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

This is the cover image for the original 2004 printing of the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

Dees, Tim. “Why Obama’s Bodycam Initiative Won’t Work.” Police One. Praetorian Group, 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

One factor that must be considered when purchasing body-worn cameras for the police force is the fact that storage space is an expensive necessity for archival of video footage.

Gonchar, Michael. “Should the United States Stop Using the Death Penalty?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

The Eight Amendment of the Constitution prevents imposing cruel and unusual punishments by the government. Therefore, the death penalty can be considered unconstitutional, which is why an increasing amount of states are no longer using the death penalty.

Jacobs, Ben. “Donald Trump Tells the Guardian Police Body Cameras ‘need Federal Funding'” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2016

Our government may have more federal money put towards a now essential piece of equipment for police officers. It will be up to the states to decide whether they are used, but funding would be available.

Kirkham, Chris. “Prison Quotas Push Lawmakers To Fill Beds, Derail Reform.” The Huffington Post., 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Large corporations that privatize prisons require a minimum occupancy of inmates because otherwise, their money-generating investment isn’t earning an adequate amount of money. This money is coming from taxpayer dollars.

Lindsay, Jeff. Darkly Dreaming Dexter. New York: Doubleday, 2004. Print.

This is the first novel of an eight-book series by Jeff Lindsay. The main character of the series is Dexter Morgan, the cultural artifact of the essay. The Showtime television series Dexter is based on the novels.

Wallin & Klarich Law. “California Prisoners Released, Changing Meaning of.” Southern California Defense Blog. Wallin & Klarich, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

With the prison system overcrowding, even felons who received life without parole could potentially receive parole. This can be thought of as either a positive second chance or as a corrupt prison system.


Non-Organic Foods: Naughty or Nice?

Organic food is healthier than conventional food. Many people believe that the term “organic” is just a marketing scheme created by the food industry, which is why numerous certifications have been created to ensure organic authenticity. It is considered better for the environment to choose organic. Another argument that is often considered when choosing organic food is if cheaper conventional food is less healthy, or if it is worth paying a few dollars extra for that special label. Some studies show that the offspring of pregnant women who ate organic do not have a significant difference from the offspring of those who ate conventional food in regards to their mental health, but other studies show that pregnant women exposed to pesticides from their surroundings have a higher risk of giving birth to babies who will develop autism or a lower IQ (Moyer). If proof is found that pesticides used on conventional foods are dangerous, that organic food is beneficial to the lifestyle of youth, and that it is indeed safer for the environment to go organic, that would demonstrate that organic food is healthier.

         Pesticides are often a concern among parents of younger children. Many people confuse “organic” and “pesticide-free”, which are two counterintuitive terms, because organic produce can contain certain types of pesticides (Langlois). These pesticides are generally comprised of toxic chemicals that leave a residue on produce. All fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed to minimize toxin consumption. The toxins are feared to affect the mental health of younger children, whose brains haven’t been fully developed yet. A prospective study, the Agricultural Health Study has shown that pesticides are positively associated with depression (Beard). Another study that linked ADHD to pesticide exposure demonstrated that children who had a higher amount of the pesticide in their urine had about 1.5 times the likelihood of having ADHD. These studies did not involve pesticides from food, but rather from general exposure from living near farms or the workplace. But why risk eating foods covered in toxic residue when there are pesticide-free foods available?

         Organic food is supposedly healthier for today’s youth, but doesn’t really make a difference. Young children are exposed to many things that are more growth-impairing than pesticides, such as viruses and bacteria found in schools and from common hygienic habits. A 2012 Stanford study showed that organic produce doesn’t cause a significant health difference than conventional food (Greene). If one can afford it, they should buy organic produce for the environment, but it might not make much difference for the health of their children.

         Buying organic is better for the environment because it promotes organic farming. Conventional agriculture has been known to erode the soil as well as harm the local surroundings (Om Organics). Organic produce does have some negatives on the environment, such as the fact that the transportation required for organic produce is generally longer than for conventional and locally grown produce (University of Alberta). Also, the organic industry is getting larger every year and all mass production has a negative effect on the environment, which is another negative for the environment. For every positive, there will be negatives to go along with it.

         For any produce, you should consider the pros and cons of buying organic or conventional. If you have kids and it works with your budget, you may want to purchase more organic foods than conventional. If you care for the environment, it may be better to purchase locally grown foods as opposed to foods from a different location. Since both organic and conventional produce may have residue from pesticides, fruit and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption.

Works Cited

Beard, John D.1,2, et al. “Pesticide Exposure And Depression Among Male Private Pesticide Applicators In The Agricultural Health Study.” Environmental Health Perspectives 122.9 (2014): 984-991. Science Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

Greene, Alan. “Why Organic Is the Right Choice for Parents.” N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Langlois, Maureen. “Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron.” N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Moyer, Melinda Wenner. “Skip the Organic Aisle. Conventional Produce Is Good for Your Kids.” Slate Magazine. N.p., 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Om Organics. “Conventional Farming – Degraded Soil.” Om Organics – Harm from Conventional Farming – Degraded Soil. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Shute, Nancy. “Docs Say Choose Organic Food To Reduce Kids’ Exposure To Pesticides.” N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

University of Alberta. “Organic Food Miles Take Toll On Environment.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2007.


Consumerism – Apples to Apple

Do people want consistency? Or do they want variety? In our world, this is a real question. On the one hand, consumers want consistency and precision. When people go to McDonald’s to purchase a cheeseburger, they know what they are getting every time they buy it, due to predictability (Ritzer 105). Andy Warhol outs the consistency in this: “What’s great about this country is America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.” Coca Cola is consistent so anyone can enjoy the product, and every Coke is the same, no matter how much is paid for it. However, consumers sometimes want to have a say in what they receive in a product. That may be a color preference, flavor, consistency or other options. Purchasing soda is an example of how variety comes into play. The consumer gets a choice, but different flavors may vary in appeal and in price. There is no lack of familiarity because the taste is expected. Consistency is a good quality in a product line, but variety is frequently desired as well.

One company that is often engaging in planned obsolescence when a product is destined to become obsolete is Apple Incorporated (Elmer-DeWitt). Their tactic is to release a few new features with each model of their iPhone devices so their customer base will want to upgrade to a newer model. Companies add new features to their products all the time, but Apple often withholds, and even removes these features that are in other phones for years, such as the NFC chip and in the newest generation, the headphone jack (Kastrenakes). The author of this essay took a quick poll of 100 people who owned iPhones. 51 people had iPhones from the 6th generation, 20 had iPhones from the 5th generation, and only 19 had phones from the 7th generation which was released on September 7th, 2016. The people who participated in the poll were current US residents and used an iPhone as their primary cell phone. As seen from the results of this survey, not many people were early adopters of the newer iPhones because they were either happy with their current devices or did not want to lose essential features such as the headphone jack. This is an example of how consistency and planned obsolescence can go wrong, because if there is an outdated piece of technology that people expect on their devices, removing it destroys what customers come to expect from company.

When people purchase an iPhone, they come to expect a few things: a somewhat rectangular device with a round home button at the bottom, headphone and charger jacks at the bottom, a speaker at the top, and control buttons such as power and volume keys. Over the course of the last nine years, there have been 15 versions of the iPhone, and currently 5 different devices are in production for sale (Apple). The 3 devices from the previous generation of iPhones include a headphone jack while the 2 current devices (iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus) do not. Mobile statistics demonstrate that only the four 6th generation iPhone devices and the iPhone 5c budget-phone are listed as the top 5 iPhone devices most commonly used (Mixpanel). The adoption rate for the new iPhone generation, the percentage of people who purchase newer models, is significantly behind the previous generations due to the removal of the headphone jack, which breaks the chain of consistency in the company’s products.

In the modern day, choosing a cell phone is much like purchasing a bottle of soda from the supermarket. There are many different sizes and flavors to choose from. From the low budget “can” phones to “half-gallon” phablets, the endless possibilities of sizes and flavors appeal to everyone differently yet will always be somewhat consistent, no matter what size they are. Having a mix of consistency and variety is essential for consumer acceptance in the marketplace.

Works Cited

Apple. “IPhone.” Apple, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Elmer-DeWitt, Philip. “John Gruber on Apple: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t.” Fortune. N.p., 2013. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Kastrenakes, Jacob. “The IPhone 7 Has No Headphone Jack.” The Verge. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Mixpanel. “Mixpanel Trends – Mixpanel | Mobile Analytics.” N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Ritzer, George. The McDonalization of Society: An Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life. N.p.: Wiley-Blackwell, 1993. Print.


Education – How The 2016 Presidential Election Will Affect American Education

Public education in the United States varies greatly in quality by the district. Schools that are lacking funding often can’t hire qualified teachers or afford updated textbooks and equipment. In the words of John Gatto, “But what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens — all in order to render the populace ‘manageable’.” (Gatto). The public schools are currently set up to be limiting the students and their education. Some aspects, such as the Common Core standards, were originally intended to improve college preparation but ended up as a standardized testing mechanism that doesn’t prepare students for highly selective universities (Pioneer). This incomplete educational system isn’t meeting the needs of some students, as they aren’t always being prepared for the transition to college because of poor curriculum, lack of school funding and unqualified teachers.

The public education system in our country needs repair. Students are being denied quality schooling and are being taught mainly to improve standardized test scores. The teachers are underpaid, and the schools can’t afford more qualified, experienced educators. This can be improved, no matter which candidate is elected. It would significantly increase the number of students properly prepared for college if the elected candidate succeeded in his or her plan for a better education in America.

Of potential ways to fix these issues, one way it can be done is by knocking it down completely. Donald Trump has proposed School-Choice, where $20 billion in Federal block grants would be directed to low-income families, so they can choose what schools their children attend (Emma). Under this proposal, schools would be competing to get students instead of receiving a list assigned by district, like how the Public-School system currently works. School-Choice would force schools to improve the quality of education to meet the approval of the parents. This would be positive for the schools, would likely create a more diverse student body, and would better prepare students for college.

School-Choice may not be the most effective solution to guarantee and provide an equal education. Hillary Clinton plans on reprioritizing federal funding, to put forward more for school equipment and raising teacher salaries. By raising the pay, more qualified individuals would become available to teach, thus improving the quality of the education. She also plans on starting a campaign for modernizing and elevating the profession of teaching, as she feels teachers aren’t being “set up for success.” (Hillary for America). This solution seems like what our government has already been doing over time, only the plan seems geared more towards the teachers than the students.

One problem with schools is when they receive extra funding to follow bad standards, such as extra testing. As demonstrated in an article by Lizette Alvarez, school testing is a large standard and is overwhelming the students and teachers alike. In Florida, a third of the school year could be dedicated to standardized tests alone. Former Governor Jeb Bush was one of the first governors to introduce high-stakes testing and an A-to-F school grading system. This was especially a problem for underperforming schools. Many parents pulled their children out of Florida schools because of these excessive Common Core based assessments (Alvarez). The Common Core standard is a base for the Math and Language Arts curriculum that is used for standardized testing. The more testing there is, the less learning is accomplished, which is not a good thing, especially for college readiness.

Common Core is a problem that made its way into the public-school system. The Obama administration pushed states to adopt certain school reforms, including Common Core to receive additional federal funding. During a GOP debate, in response to a question about how he would cut government spending, Donald Trump stated that he plans on getting rid of the Common Core “disaster” completely, and instead would let the schools educate at the “local level” (Strauss). Hillary Clinton believes that there should be national standards, and was formerly very positive about Common Core, but says it doesn’t really work the way its goal states “… to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, that there wouldn’t be two tiers of education.” (LaTour). Hopefully, Common Core will be replaced with better standards that properly prepare students a college level education with high-quality material.

Student debt is an extensive problem in our country. For higher level education, both candidates have ideas on how to relieve students of debt. Hillary Clinton proposed the plan of debt-free colleges by the year 2021. Families with an income of $125,000 or less would pay no tuition. It would be fully paid for by “limiting certain tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers” (Hillary for America #2). Donald Trump wants federal student loans to be issued by private banks, allowing the banks to decide the worthiness of the loans based on the student’s major and future prospective earnings (Nykiel). This would not be positive for students with liberal arts majors, but will not be a bad deal for students of most business majors.

These plans will probably not happen anytime soon, if at all. They are only ideas on how we can bring our country’s educational standards to its full potential. However, if the government keeps the goal of trying to improve the system in progress, we may just reach the point of obtaining an equal and plentiful education for the next generations of youth in the United States. Hopefully, all American students might someday be fully prepared for the college level curriculum ahead of them.

Works Cited

Alvarez, L. (2014) “States Listen as parents give rampant testing an F.”. In Conversation: A Thematic Reader for Critical Thinking. 2016. (Pg. 34 & 35)

Emma, Caitlyn Z. “Trump Unveils $20B School Choice Proposal.” Politico. 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.

Gatto, J. (2003) “Against School”. In Conversation: A Thematic Reader for Critical Thinking. 2016. (Pg. 25)

Hillary for America “K-12 education”. (n.d.). Hillary for America.

Hillary for America “Making college debt-free and taking on student debt”. (n.d.). Hillary for America,

LaTour, A. ” The Hillary Clinton Common Core Plan: Don’t Rock the Boat” GenFKD. YoungAmerica.Org,Inc.,

Nykiel, T. (2016, July 25). 4 Ways a Trump Win Could Impact College Students. NerdWallet.

Pioneer Institute (2013, Oct. 1). “Lowering the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare Students for STEM”, Pioneer Institute,

Rappeport, A. “Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: Where They Stand on Education.” The New York Times 2016: Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.

Strauss, V. “Donald Trump is wrong about Common Core — but he’s not the only candidate who is” The Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2016,