Why are our schools failing us?

Fidel Ontiveros, Staff member

There have been many debates and studies on the subject of why American student’s grades are getting worse. And, being a student in the public school system my almost my entire life, I could definitely provide some thoughts as to possible factors.

School curriculums have strayed from teaching information students need to know, but are interested instead on teaching the basic information necessary to pass. However, they are now failing at that as well. As reported by The Washington Post, we are producing a nation of high school seniors who have “shown no improvement in math and reading performance since 2009.”

If you ask me, teacher to teacher communication is major important factor that is currently lacking, adding to a drop in student productivity and performance levels. When students are busy studying for tests in six different subjects at the same time, at an age where our mind is still learning and developing, there is simply not enough time to familiarize ourselves perfectly with every subject. As a result, it is possible to see a drop in grades.

I would think teacher collaboration is equally important to student work, and is something that needs to take place for the benefit of the students in public schools.

As a student coming from a very religious background, I know how much pressure it can be to uphold beliefs. Religion in school systems is an issue that is largely debated on, but if religion begins to interfere with or place bias on the learning process necessary to educate our students, where do we draw the line? Save religion for church, temple, shrines, or whatever you do, and teach me the facts that I need to know to improve my educational performance.

Lastly, instead of making students miss school as a form of punishment, why not find alternative means of disciplinary actions? It makes no sense to punish a student for an action committed at school by making them stay home and miss school, which was arguably their hope in the first place.

Now don’t misunderstand, I believe there are great teachers who do take the time needed to communicate with each other and the student body, and there are schools specialized for religious pursuits of all denominations. However, when it comes to measuring the improvement of my math and reading skills, don’t blame me when my grades show the result of other people’s lack of forethought and corner-cutting.