Thursday, April 2, 2009

Guest article: The shortcomings of education

The No Child Left Behind Act has been in place for several years at this point, but what has the act done for kids who weren’t held back according to guidelines that are now in place? The answer to that question is: Not enough.

In just a couple short months, high school seniors all over the country will receive diplomas that are far less valuable than in the days of yore. It comes as no surprise to most, as public education has been on a steady decline over the last few decades, regardless of infusions of money, budget cuts, and technology.

Holding the purse strings and accountability are nothing new, but with NCLB, things should start showing marked improvement in the next few years if this program isn’t targeted as another Bush Administration relic that needs to be dismantled.

In states across America, so-called “high-stakes tests” are being administered for graduation eligibility. The only problem is that a vast majority of high school seniors can barely construct a complete sentence, let alone a viable essay. What will happen when college starts?

Well, what’s going on these days is that universities and colleges have had to infuse their curriculums with remedial courses that basically get students back on track—enough, at least, to satisfy the minimal requirements for graduation. No longer is being well-rounded necessary evidently. Writing is overrated when you can abbreviate in text messages, so why not oversimplify everything?

However, the New York Times featured an article on March 31, 2009, discussing the fact that many universities are using economic considerations when it comes to admissions. Basically, the haves will be admitted before the have-nots, which could also mean a cut in remedial programs for the foreseeable future. And if you want to make the correlation between privilege and performance, you can take that for what it’s worth as well.

So what does the future hold for the students that can barely pass the high-stakes graduation tests? As things continue to develop, we will likely see a drastic shift in college admissions, performance, and completion as a result. Keep your fingers crossed, America!

This post was contributed by Courtney Philips, who writes about bachelors degrees online.
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We thank her for her interest in this blog and for her contribution!