Why Education

For this semester, I am choosing to write about something I have never written about before, but that I am very vocally passionate – public education.  Education has lost its creativity.  Its innovation.  While the world quickly changed over the last 50 years, the basic model of the education system did not.  Education has stopped being about learning, about creating and developing new and original ideas. Instead, it has become an area where all importance is put on testing and data and reaching set standards for every student.  Conformity.  Teachers spend more time preparing students for test upon test upon test than actually helping them learn.  And teachers are forced to do so in order to follow standards set by the state and the nation as a whole.

My best friend is a high school physics teacher in Florida, in a Title 1 school where most students are barely expected to retain enough information and struggle through enough tests to graduate and get a job.  Over the last six months, most of her students have missed multiple days of class for testing, everything from FCATs to end-of-course testing.  These same students are the ones who need the extra class time, who can’t afford to miss any opportunity to learn.  And the schools don’t care.  They care more about these tests than any individual student’s ability to learn and grow.  And what do they have to show? That their students continue to fail to achieve certain standards?  What a surprise.

And when these test scores come in, showing that these students are still failing, are still below standards, what does the administration do? Nothing.  Nothing changes.  And they expect to get different test results next year?  When they are doing the exact same thing they’ve always been doing?  Ha.

So the students learn little, only memorizing what is needed to take the tests, get the expected scores and then they quickly forget everything.  No creativity, no actual learning involved.  This is what the public education system has come to.

So why am I the one to talk about this subject?  Because my mom is a teacher.  My friends are teachers.  And I may not be one, but I still care.  I care that students are being forced to conform to standards or be left behind.  They leave all their creativity tucked away because innovative, original ideas won’t help them pass the tests.

Something needs to change.  I don’t want any future kids of mine to be stuck in an educational system that is still living 70 years in the past.  That’s not fair to them.  Nor is it fair to the kids who are facing this right now.

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3 thoughts on “Why Education

  1. Robert Kalm (@bumpspark)

    The bio and beat assignments are a little trick on my part Alex. The second assignment, defending your subject, usually brings about a better biography than your bio assignment.

    Your bio is well organized, but it is naturally about the variety in your life. Good writing is about focus. In your beat defense, you concentrate on your subject and the parts of your life that apply to your subject. This happens with everybody.

    There are the many directions that life pulls us and then there is the one direction we are always trying to head ourselves.

    I gave you these two assignments to create first drafts of an About You page for your blog. Both of these are decent first drafts. As I expected, your beat defense is the better focused draft, but there are details that are important in the first. You can still write one or two more drafts.

    Drafts are not a bad thing. Good writing always starts with a few drafts. Do not be disappointed that you have to rewrite your work like every other good writer.

    Rewrite another draft or two that discusses you from the focus of education. Tell me more about why you are the one to write about education. You are pretty confident in your draft here, but I want to hear more than just your friends and mom are teachers. I’m sure there are deeper and more specific reasons why you are interested.

    Speak more from your passion about the subject. When was the first time you realized education failed you? What did you wish your school could accomplish? Was there a specific teacher or an event or moment that changed you?

    Discussing the one event that made you want to change education may be all that you need.

    The details of your life are not boring – they are experience! We are hungry for experience. Tell us, the audience, why you are the best person to discuss this subject. If nothing else, convince us of your passion for it.

    I already hear your confidence, but bring it home.

    Good work.

    Reply
  2. AmateurYogi

    Interesting subject choice! It is refreshing to hear a perspective on the education system from a person who is not directly involved in the education system. Your writing informs me that you have a lot of outside opinions on what is happening with our education system, but what are some personal experiences you’ve had with this system. Instead of just mentioning that your mother and your friends are teachers, you could give specific examples of what they’ve told you about the systems failures. What were your experiences with the educational system? Did you feel like it failed you?

    Reply
  3. sadikibeme

    You have a strong, well written argument, While I was reading it, it brought up feelings I had about the current education system and personal experiences I went through. You did a great job of invoking those thoughts and emotions but I was waiting to read what personally connects you to how you feel about the current education system.

    Reply

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