WOW - What a topic! I get so amped up on stuff like this, I had to take a breath before I answered.
First; the way schools are - yes it is terrible. I can't say more about how the whole situation in public schools is bad without Steve deleting my message. 🙂
Let's look at students as individuals instead of how teachers (who many have had jobs for years) look at them. There are plenty of students who really want to graduate normally, and be allowed to go to the prom, etc. BUT, they are from one parent households, or both their parents don't make enough money to pay the bills, so the student must work to help out. OK, so you have a student who really wants to graduate, but is mature enough to work to help support the family, but they show up at school tired, they don't get the home work done right on time, etc and what do they get - written up, put in detention, scolded by grown-ups who have jobs and have food on the table. So, what does the teen do - exactly what a grown-up would do if they were failing at the one thing that was not putting food on the table or gas in their Mom's car, they would quit!
Schools today are set up for some nirvana society that we have never had. What I think should happen, is this;
1) You are not allowed to drop out of high school until you reach June after your 18th birthday. 2) After 16 you can tranfer to online High School classes (through your own high school), but the online teacher will not set exact homework schedules. If you have a paper due, and you have to work, fine turn it in when you get time to do it. But, the homework would be set up on 9 week schedules so the students would not get too far behind or think they have 4 months to accomplish the work. In fact, the students could take some classes in class, and some classes online.
3) colleges are set up like this and some employment is set up like this, so if our schools are supposed to be prepapring our kids for the workforce, why are we using a 1900s brick and mortor school plan? I mean really, if you get rid of all the assmblies, and speeches, and wasted time in school, the kids really only learn about 4 hours a day. So, a student could work 4 hours a day, and learn four hours a day at home, and in reality learn more then a traditional in-class student and have a resume to prove it!
Why am I so passionate about this? I was a high school teacher, and I hated the "old" way many of the teachers believed in. I hated the power trip many teachers had over students who did not fall into the perfect little model. I taught the vocational kids. Some of these kids had children of their own (but were not allowed cell phones even if their child was sick), some of these kids had full time jobs (but were scolded by other teachers if they fell asleep in class), some of these kids had seen some of the horror that life can throw at you (but were expected to be afraid and cower if the teacher threatened detention); yet these kids showed up to school everyday just trying to get that piece of paper that they know they needed to get out of the situation they were in. No wonder they end up quitting. Some of these kids had dreams and ambitions some teachers could not even understand. I had one student who wanted to join the Marines, a teacher (YES A TEACHER) told him he would never make it, he was too far gone. What does that even mean? Our public schools are failing our kids, and there are some teachers who mentally abuse those who don't fit into a perfect bubble. And we wonder why they drop out. Heck I would too!
One last question I have? If students do a class in the afternoon, or take summer school, why are these grades not considered part of the GPA? If a student is sitting in class learning and they make good grades it should be considered in the GPA. Colleges count every class in the GPA, not just the ones taken with traditional students.
The whole public school system needs to be revamped. It is failing, and everyone is looking at the parents. Or worse, they keep throwing good money into a bad system. Look at the actual system. It is so outdated. The kids don't even want to be there because many kids know more about the subjects then the teachers teaching the subjects. (and I am not joking when I say that). If we look at the system, and how smart and mature most kids really are, then we may get somewhere.
I won't even tackle the other subjects. I think I have said enough on this one. 🙂