From the articles I have read, it seems as though parents, teachers, and the education system continue to blame one another for poor student performance in school and on state tests. However, I believe that each of these groups plays a key role in student success or failure. School administration and board members seem to be completely oblivious to the real reasons students perform poorly and parents lack involvment in their children’s schooling and education at home.
I do believe that income does play a key role in education, however, I don’t agree with it. Schools in low income neighborhoods don’t recieve the proper funding to provide students with the materials they need to be successful in school, but the students don’t score high enough on state tests to earn the school money for these materials; it’s a lose lose situation (Barbanel, 2002). For these issues, I believe the lack of government involvment and recognition is the cause of student failure.
Despite all these factors, students should also be held accountable for being successful in school. Even if schools recieve proper funding, materials, and training, it is ultimately up to the student to stay motivated to succeed. From personal experience, I found that it was much easier to stay motivated in classes that I felt engaged in. The classes that teachers made a connection with me in and really knew their stuff were always the classes I had a higher success rate in. I think teacher involvement is a huge deal in school, it makes a student want to go to school, and feel like they belong rather than just going because they have to.
Recently, Maine and fourty-four other states have adopted the new Common Core standards that will make academic standards even higher for kids in grades K-12 (Gallagher, 2013). The purpose of these standards is to increase critical thinking skills and teach students to solve problems on their own. Common Core is designed to allow teachers to be facilitators and students to take responsiblity for their own education. However, as positive and ecouraging as Common Core sounds, experts say that a drop as high as 40% will be seen in the new testing in 2015 (Gallagher, 2013).
BARBANEL, J. (2002, March 31). Elementary and Middle School Report Cards. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://ethemes.pearsoncmg.com/0205405940/article_06/index.html
Ghallagher, N. K. (2013, July 7). Back-to-school means facing tougher academic standards this fall | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME. Retrieved from http://www.kjonline.com/news/test-scores-likely-to-drop-under-new-standards_2013-07-20.html