After I got off from work the other day, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the American school system and how he believes the school system is flawed because it shortchanges students and only prepares students for the test and not life. He explained to me that the main problem he has with the school system is that everything is geared toward memorizing and regurgitating everything the teacher said during the year in order to obtain the best grade you can muster at the end of the year. He also explained how you’re not exactly that much wiser or smarter. You may know more facts than you have before (or facts the system wants you to know & believe) and you can write an essay with them, but you’re not necessary a better person. You just meet the arbitrary requirements to be allowed to do it all over again next year. That’s all you achieved. A student absorbs and regurgitates information and at the end, you are given a letter that vaguely represents how much of that information you could produce, and if that letter is the right one then you are given the opportunity to do it all over again. To put it simply, the curriculum is continually watered down and made inoffensive, and yet students still cannot cope. Schools are plagued by bureaucracy and financial problems and have become factories that pump out unequipped people. It is clear that changes need to be made in our flawed education system.
In my opinion, I learned more out of school than in school because I thirsted for knowledge and there was many information that was left out from the lessons I learned in school. Through the use of the internet and constantly exposing myself to different things it has truly enlightened me greatly. It’s almost like reading a book and skipping numerous chapters and expecting to still know every detail that is going on in the story. So when my friend talked about how schools prepare for basically only the test he was accurate in my eyes. Schools are judged by how they perform on tests, and as a result, instead of focusing on areas that could actually be helpful, time and money and resources are spent on actions to improve standardized test scores. Days are spent in preparation of the statewide testing where students are advised on good test-taking strategies which in turn made actual learning secondary. However, the most glaring reality we have to pay attention to is the fact that many students no longer care because of the culture. They have lost the idea that obtaining knowledge for knowledge’s sake is something worth attaining, and the emphasis on grades has led to a loss of honor or a sense of earning your grade. There is no objectivity or feeling that if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Instead, the students who do care about grades only care to the extent that it could affect what college they go to and what sort of job they will get.
The task of educators is to make sure that every student masters any subject that is placed in front of them so that he or she has everything they need to succeed. It is also the task of the parents to aid students at home so that they may grow at home and school. I believe that every student has the capacity to learn, but we must find different ways to reach these children so that they themselves know that they have the ability to learn and as an educator, I refuse to give up on them. I understand that we cannot save everyone or force people to learn, but every single student that walks through those school doors are to be taught to the best of the instructor’s abilities. A culture of high expectations for students, teachers, staff, administrators, and parents is a hallmark of high-achieving schools. It’s a team effort, but if the top of the system doesn’t put forth the effort then the system will not be effective and if the roots (the parents) do not do their part then the rest of the structure will be a mess. The same thing can be applied to every single branch of the school system.