U.S. students’ attitude about education requires overhaul

U.S. students attitude about education requires overhaul

Walter Wang

Our educational system is subpar. According to studies the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development conducted, the U.S. ranks only average in reading, science and math literacy.
We need a change because better education leads to better jobs and salaries. But students do not feel enough pressure for their own future.
A massive 68 percent of parents in the United States said they felt there was not enough societal pressure on educational prowess when the Pew Research Center surveyed them, yet these same parents do not pressure their own children to do well in school.
While we cannot do much about the problem nationwide, there is a simple fix available to us here at RBHS: instead of making Alternating Unassigned Time untouchable except for students in detention, those earning a D in any class should be required to go to tutoring sessions during their AUT until they pull up their grades. This system would be  similar to the current sophomore advisory program.
This plan will put pressure on students to do well in class, not wanting to lose the privilege of their AUTs. In turn, students will have a better academic environment.          It also benefits RBHS to have fewer students failing, decreasing resources spent and space used on uninterested students.
RBHS currently has about a 94 percent attendance and graduation rate, about average in Missouri, according to the Missouri Comprehensive Data System. If we put more pressure on students to do well, these numbers would rise in accordance to academic drive and success.
Doing well in education corresponds with higher pressure on students from society and such pressure on students makes a difference.
According to the PRC survey, 68 percent of Chinese parents believe there is too much pressure on students to do well.
In the 2008 Programme for International Student Assessment, scores from Shanghai, China topped the charts.
The difference between these first place scores and second place was at least four times the difference between second and third, places which no country held consistently throughout the subjects of literacy, science and mathematics.
Students need more pressure to do better in school. There are only consequences for failing a class when that class is necessary for graduation.
Even then, the only disciplinary action will be to make the student retake that class and fail to graduate. Students thus have no real incentive to work hard in school unless they are self-motivated.
Changes to the system should not increase the number of hours spent in school or the amount of money spent on quality teachers. While these changes can make a difference, they mean absolutely nothing if students have no motivation to learn.
Making AUT a privilege for having good grades will be a strong incentive for RBHS students to care more about school. Students need to start going to class as much as possible and complete their work on time for all classes.
It will boost the quality of their education and serve as a model to how big a benefit a little pressure can cause.
By Walter Wang