A bird is taught how to fly only when it is old enough and ready. If it is too young, the bird may be suspended in freefall until it lands and get hurt, or worse. If it is too old, it may be too late for the bird and it would be left behind by his peers. We could adopt this analogy to the reshaping of high schools. And as for the case of high school students, the 9th grade is when we should start to reshape high schools. It is said in the article that it is generally agreed that the first year of high school is a crucial stage for the students because of the adjustment they have to make and the achievements that are expected of them.
As educators, we should be able to emphasize with the students that we should put ourselves in their shoes. They just new to a world of learning, teacher are with them to assist them in this new world, not to intimidate them. It is just logical that a high school institution should give more priority to the freshmen rather than the graduating seniors. Schools prioritize gradating students because these students would represent the school once they move to higher education. But if we start prioritizing the 9th graders, the graduates of high schools would have received four years of good education.
And of course, to achieve this requires much change in the high school education system. And as we know of change, it oftentimes raises some eyebrows. It is very important for us educators to keep in mind and at heart that it is never about us, education should be always about them. And for that very reason, I agree with Donegan’s article. We should prioritize and provide more for the 9th graders. If we would practice our vocation more altruistically regarding this matter, if we would start caring for the 9th grade more, our students would say that they are getting the best high school education there is.