April 24, 2024

American 15-year-olds’ reading and math proficiency has stagnated, according to an international assessment. Adolescents informed us on the good and bad aspects of the US educational system.

The Program for International Student Assessment revealed earlier this month that American teens’ reading and math proficiency has remained unchanged since 2000. Two-thirds of American youngsters were not proficient readers, according to other recent studies, and the achievement gap between high and low readers is growing.

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Students were asked to provide their opinions on these results as well as recommendations on how to make the American educational system better.

We received around 300 comments on our prompt. It was evident that a lot of students were enthusiastic about this topic. They made a range of recommendations on how they thought education should be enhanced to better serve students’ needs and better prepare them for life beyond graduation.

In our Current Events Conversation, we often showcase three of our most well-liked writing prompts, but this week, in order to recognize the many students who submitted, we are just collecting comments for this one topic.

Lower the demands placed on the kids.

The amount of pressure placed on children to perform well in school in order to gain admission to a reputable institution is one of the main problems with the American educational system. Due to the pressure kids face, they are more concerned with performing well than they are with learning and applying the knowledge they are being taught.

In the classroom, use technology less (or more).

My generation has lower vocabulary sizes, and rather than internalizing new words over time, they just look them up online when they don’t know them. The same holds true for other subject’s facts and people; do you have any idea who that person in history class was? Simply research them and read their bio. Are you unable to solve a chemical equation? The web is aware. Can’t work out a math issue by yourself? Just pull out the calculator on your phone.

However, the social and psychological components are more of my pet peeve with technology and education. Our capacity for real communication has diminished, and we want that everything be delivered to us at Amazon Prime speed, including experiences, goods, and satisfaction. Because we live through screens, interactions and experiences have become cheap and two-dimensional.

Get students ready for the real world.

I’m not really concerned about the grades right now. We get the impression that after high school, we will be thrust into the real world unprepared and without a clue. It seems like they left home to become adults but don’t know how to be adults, and I know a lot of college kids who are clueless about what they’re doing.

My Civics & Economics class, which hardly touched on the topics I would truly need to know for the real world, was the most I’ve learned in school thus far. They want me to be completely content living alone in a year, even if I hardly comprehend credit. We must acquire knowledge regarding practical matters, those that will truly help us. In real life, a student of art will not need to utilize trigonometry or biology. In the end run, exams simply seem so worthless. Why must we spend all of our high school years learning equations that we will never apply? Why is our entire future determined by examinations covering meaningless topics?

Get rid of the standardized exams.

To be honest, stress should be a synonym for standardized testing. Like most of my colleagues, I am aware that I have had anxiety before every standardized exam I have taken. These examinations are intimidating; it feels like you should bring your No. 2 pencil and prepare for failure.

Standardized tests, in my opinion, have a detrimental effect on my education since they make me learn information that I will quickly forget rather than testing my knowledge.

Increase funding and support for teachers.

“Teachers don’t get paid hardly anything,” is a saying that I have heard repeated throughout my life. or “Don’t become a teacher; how can you expect to live on their salary?” I’ve been taught these things since I was a young adolescent: the prospective instructors of the future are continuously deterred by the pay they would receive. The issues surrounding education in America are highly complex, and there isn’t a one, all-encompassing answer that will work for everyone. However, little by little, things may start to improve.