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Losing our grip on education.... how can we fix it?

posted Feb 14, 2011, 7:56 AM by Daniel Tripp   [ updated Jul 17, 2011, 6:35 PM ]

An episode of "The West Wing" has spurred me to write my next blog.  Congressman Matthew Santos runs for the presidency because of the views he has seen in his family that the educational system has failed America.
 
While I believe a TV show can overdramatize our problems in America, I do believe education still needs to be changed.  Lots of people are trying to create ways to educate our students:  more Fine Arts and more advanced and AP classes.  It does me joy when I see kids one year out of high school become a Junior in college because of the credit they received in high school.  Reading all of the programs a student can join and succeed at PCHS is really a sight to see.
 
However, I see one thing wrong with these: this only affects the top kids.  Say America is 27th in education out of 30 in a group of countries.  Are we really going to improve our position by adding more classes for the top group of kids?
 
I tell people my school has a large drop out rate and it bothers me so much when I see the numbers across the country!  Many students drop out not because they can't do it, but the students can not see the reason to stay in school.
 
A challenge for myself and to anyone else that will want to read this:  find 5 children that you don't have in your class, and monitor them.  Find out how they are doing in class, and make sure you tell them that showing up to school is the hardest part!  Don't let them think that what they are doing is underrated.  Encourage them to join an extra-curricular to help them stay out of trouble.
 
We can never improve our educational status in the world if we don't stop and look for the children at the bottom.  Offer more for the kids that are not as intelligent, not as hard working, and keep them interested in SOMETHING instead of them dropping out to be NOTHING.

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