I believe that we discriminate on age all the time. I am not really talking about getting jobs or not getting jobs because of being too old/young. Not that sort of stuff.
I am talking about how we develop kids. I wrote earlier about how I think we develop kids wrong in athletics. But, after talking with a friend today (or yesterday?)…it goes beyond the athletic realm.
Why do we restrict kids’ development based on their age? That’s discrimination right?
Why are kids allowed to choose their classes in high school, but not before?
Does it really make sense to keep kids in a classroom based on their age instead of their abilities? Now, I know, ANYONE can test out of classes or move “up” in grade levels, but there’s more to it than that.
Some kids may be able to read at a 3rd grade level in the 1st grade — put them in that level of English class! Some kids may be under-performing in their 5th grade math class — put them in their 4th grade level math class then!
As much complaints as there are with the public education system, many probably come from me, there needs to be a change. The whole education system is based around these crappy “standardized tests.” Well, if we actually want to help the kids pass these “standardized tests,” then allow the kids to develop properly! Too many times grade-level teachers are handcuffed in their classrooms to teaching to a certain “level.” The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act allowed a lot of this to happen — not going to even start talking about that outside of this reference.
If a teacher has a lower-level 6th grade English class with three or four kids who are obviously leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else, why can’t or shouldn’t they be allowed to move up to the next level?
Heck, who says that having a 13-grade level education system is the BEST way to operate academics anyway? Why is it necessary to structure it that way? But…on the flip side…what’s better?
I have taken classes for WAY too many years it seems. I have seen MANY people who are either ahead of the game…and I have seen MANY who are definitely lagging behind. I have taken Master’s classes with people who can’t even write a paper — now, I am clarifying this by saying, I am definitely not the best writer out there…but I can at least format a paper properly. I have seen many people graduate college who definitely shouldn’t be graduating with a degree in the same manner as his/her classmates. I have seen many people pushed through primary and secondary school to graduate in the same manner as his/her classmates. This is terrible. But, then again, we cannot possibly “fail” kids by holding them back from their peers!
So, what do we do to them? We pass them through their education so that they potentially become detrimental to society because of their lack of education. Heck, we even let them get through college without being prepared for “the real world.”
Why do we continue to hinder development of our youth? The only reason that any ever really says is, “that’s how it has always been done.” Oh, that makes everything better. Instead of actually fixing things, we just continue to the downward spiral. It’d be nice if those people in power would actually do something to change things.
In the prime development years, we MAKE kids take the classes that suits tell them is good for them. We MAKE kids attend school 180 days of the year (out of the possible 365/6 days) — while other countries may go 270 days out of the year. We MAKE kids stay in the classroom from 8:00am-ish until 2:30pm-ish. We tell them what they can or cannot take. And we wonder why test scores are “only” what they are. And we wonder why kids get tired of school days. We wonder why some kids crash and burn before they hit age 14.
Instead of making our country better by focusing on our future and our well-being, we meddle in so many other things that ultimately DO NOTHING in the long run. Politicians and those in charge of education decision making have crapped on our future. Higher education costs have soared through the roof. It’s nearly impossible to get a job in one’s career field post-college. A downward spiral seems logical (sarcasm included).
Might as well continue making standardized tests the focal point…they have done such a good job thus far. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done bubble exams for all the bosses I’ve worked for…oh wait, yes I can — ZERO!
“You load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.” — Tennessee Ernie Ford