Education system stunts growth

Tests, tests and more tests. Sitting in a crowded classroom, in a sullen school, forced to memorize hundreds of facts and listen to monotone lessons.

Many students can relate to this feeling of boredom and exhaustion when they are in the learning environment. We are no longer being taught to learn, but rather to memorize an accumulation of facts that we may never end up using.

According to article published in Quora by David Campbell, “Teaching to the test is by far the easiest way to teach students; teachers have told me so. But it’s not the most gratifying method, not to the teachers nor the students. The students end up with a feeling that everything they’ve learned is pointless, as if the only reason they ever learned the material was for the test. And the teachers feel like they’ve deceived the students, and haven’t prepared them for anything beyond the test.”

Hussain Yasin listens to a lecture in his Geometry Class.
Hussain Yasin listens to a lecture in his Geometry Class.

If we look at our education system today, in most of our classes teachers are simply teaching to the test, trying to make it past the current unit and move on as planned. They need to met their curricular deadlines set for them by the state, and in that rush, students often fail to see actual benefits from their education.

According to an article by American RadioWorks, “Common Core has been a disaster in New York,” teacher Kevin Glenn said. “It’s turning kids into test scores.”

Now, often times, only elective classes provide students with the ability to grow and study something that they find interesting or engaging.

“There are the important core classes that we are supposed to take that can sometimes hinder students from getting to electives classes,” sophomore Julia Duncan said. “I know that my schedule is always packed so that I never had time to get to take a lot of electives.”

Our current school system caters to memorization in order to pass standardized tests. The hype about our current school system is pretty high, but the fact is it falls short of the mark, and we end up memorizing instead of learning.

“Not only do [standardized tests] fail in helping us measure and provide quality education for our next generation of citizens, [they] horrifyingly do the exact opposite – promoting the sort of despotic mentality that goes against the very grain of American liberty,” founder of the The Literary Guild LLC Tina Tsai, Ph.D, writes.

In fact, the Common Core system that is in place only serves to make it harder for both students and teachers to learn and teach, respectively.

“If the Common Core’s college-and-career-ready performance levels become the standard for high school graduation, it will push more kids out of high school than it will prepare for college,” according to Stan Karp, on rethinking schools. “The most vulnerable students will be the most at risk.”

We need to seriously rethink the way school is structured, because right now, its hurting students more than its helping.

As Malala Yousafzai said in her autobiography, I Am Malala, “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”