I’ve blogged about this a few times before, but the subject popped up in my head again. Prepare for a disorganized rant about the school system and its failings…
Why waste time on standardized tests in schools? EOGs and EOCs are not true measures of intelligence. I believe that every child is intelligent and has a natural willingness to learn, but not all children learn in the same way.
To learn something, that concept needs to be applied to the real world as much as possible. Like math, for instance. We are taught algebra, geometry, and perhaps even calculus, but how does that really apply? Why are we memorizing all these formulas for anyway?
Why does school have so little to do with the real world? We spend so much more of our lives out in the real world than in school, so why can’t school teach us real world concepts – or at least present abstract concepts in a real world way? In the real world, we aren’t going to sit in a room and take multiple-choice tests. We’re not going to sit in a room and listen to someone lecture for an hour.
Why do so many parents rely on teachers and the school system to raise their children for them? The child’s first teacher is always the parent. If the school is not giving the child realistic skills and experiences, then it’s time for parental intervention. There are so many things that only parents can teach: religious/spiritual values, sex ed., manners and etiquette, and many other facts of real life that will never be discussed adequately in the school, due to government or other restrictions.
I believe that students of all ages should be encouraged to volunteer and give back to the community. Some school systems already have programs in place for this.
Like EOC and EOG scores, GPAs and letter grades are not a satisfactory measure of intelligence. Just because one child does poorly in school doesn’t mean he won’t succeed in life, so don’t treat him like he’s a failure. There are countless of examples of kids who haven’t done well in school, but have succeeded in life. I won’t bother to name names, I’m sure you can think of a few.
GPA inflation in high school is another issue that bothers me. Taking the most honors or AP classes doesn’t guarantee success in real life or even in college. Vocational classes like masonry, auto mechanics, and agricultural education aren’t just for the “losers.” These kids are just as smart as the kids who load their schedules with honors and AP classes. A GPA of 5.0 may look awesome on college applications and transcripts, but how much of that 5.0 is built from real-world knowledge?
Maybe I’ll write a second post about what we can actually DO about this problem, instead of whining about it.
tl;dr version: Schools need to get in touch with the real world. Students need to be prepared for the real world and schools are failing them.