At a time when we in the teaching professions are under more pressure than ever before to improve test scores and increase the graduation rate, there is a growing subculture of students... and parents ... who simply do not care. In other words, we are being raked over the goals for leaving children behind, when they are wanting, in some cases desperately pleading to be left behind:
There is a growing subculture of apathetic learners in the United States. It is a community of persons who view education as elitist, unattainable and unconnected to their daily lives. It is the idea of "if it was good enough for me then it's good enough for you" ideology. I see it often and it still shocks and shakes me.
At one time there were generations of parents who wanted more for their children. Who desired a better life for the progeny. Who wanted their little ones to be more, have more, attain more than themselves. Amazingly, those who can identify with such sentiments are finding their culture shrinking, giving way to those who wish to hold their children back.
While the post makes some good points, I wonder if there has been that much of a change, or if it is this overall push toward everyone having a college education that has made the difference. Though I run into the same kind of educational apathy, I have had the opportunity to talk with many parents who did not go far with their own education, but who, more than anything, want something better for their children.
The difference is we live in a society that has been systematically eliminating the industrial jobs that were plentiful for past generations. Some vanished through automation, a process that has to be expected. Others however, have disappeared because we have made it so profitable, even offering tax incentives, to send our jobs overseas. Plus, we reward companies which slash their payrolls drastically to look good for stockholders.
In the past, we had a place for those who had no interest in education. Now, there is nowhere to go. We have become a society that insists that students receive not just a high school diploma, but at least a bachelor's degree. So not only do the public schools bear the brunt of the complaints about the high dropout rate, but we get hit by colleges who decry freshmen who are not prepared for college.
It was not too long ago that most of these students would not even be considering college. Those who have always been among the ranks of college students are just as well prepared as ever. The others, those who are not motivated, but who are simply going through the motions because they are being forced into it, are not faring as well.
I will again say the obvious. No Child Left Behind is an unworkable plan. It's not because of the lack of money as Democrats have said. It is not because of a problem with public schools, like many Republicans have said...it is an impossible goal.
Can public education be improved. Absolutely. Everything can be improved, but by dumbing down the curriculum through an obsession with standardized tests, we are setting the stage for generations of Americans who have no love for education, because it so much like a factory job- the kind of factory job that is no longer available.