Are Standards Failing Student?


I had a conversation recently with a colleague of mine who asked one of her AP Biology students why they didn't seem to care about passing the class. The surprising response is an indictment of what we're doing to our kids in today's "high-stakes" public school environment. This student said that he doesn't care because somebody's got to flip burgers.

Someone has got to flip burgers. What a sad commentary for a high school student to make. Here's a student who sees the futility of his schooling. Here's a student who is so disconnected from the fantasy of public education to the reality of the world. Maybe he's lucky that he "gets it" in that he knows that public school is never going to give him the tools to meet the challenges facing him after graduation. Maybe he already knows that what you learn in school has no relationship to what you need after graduation. And I know he's not in the minority.

Too many of our kids find school mind numbing with little connection to their lives. Far too many of our kids are conditioned like Pavlovian dogs to take state mandated tests based on state mandated curricula that have little or no value after graduation. And then we complain that high school graduates have lost the ability to do critical thinking.