Public Schools

I am an educator. I work in a last-chance school and I see plenty of students pour in from regular “public education”.

What do I see? I see very bright students who struggle with testing. They can answer the questions as you call them out, but freeze when you call it a test. I see students who have been passed through the grades because we can no longer “hold them back” and make them repeat a grade. Everyone gets a trophy. I see students who have been through hard times, failing classes due to outside stressors who panic and shut down.

Public schools have become more about “testing” than about the individual student. They want to pigeonhole them all into a nice little testing circle… it’s not working. We are forcing the public schoolteachers to teach to the test, not to the student. We are failing our next generation.

How did this happen? WHEN did this happen? When did a test become more important than the student?

I know it will not be a shock to many of you to find out that “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to students. If you are an educator, you know that you have to change up your teaching strategy constantly to accommodate the student. if you are a parent, you know that you have children who panic over the word “test”. If you are a school district, you know that you have to answer for your lower test scores.

There’s the rub.

Pubic schools are graded on how well students can pass a test. Teachers are graded on how well their students can pass a test. Everything revolves around tests. Why doesn’t it revolve around the students? Aren’t they the reason we teach? Isn’t it their future we are shaping?

We are failing our students on so many levels by teaching to pass a test.

We have overcrowded classrooms because the budget doesn’t allow for additional teachers. We have budgets that rely on test results. We have IEP’s being handed out like candy so that our schools can justify lower test scores. The insanity must stop.

We need to pay teachers more. We need to retain good teachers. We need to lower class size. We need to reduce testing. We need to focus on the student and their needs.

Our future generation isn’t about tests and square pegs in round holes. It is about people. Who they are. What they represent. What they value. What they know, what they can learn.

We really need to get back to the basics. Back to the students.

Teach the students real life. Teach them about cooking, budgeting, living on their own. Teach them about how to get a job. How to keep a job.Give them skills. Bring back shop and home-ec. Bring back sports and music, and everything that makes them shine. Let them GROW. Let them figure out who they want to be. Let them be them. Originals.

Stop the testing. It isn’t fair. The students learn to the test as the teachers teach to it.

It’s time to let the students be who they are.