Plague of the Modern World

Ramie Ruble, Editor-in-Chief

I often find myself questioning today’s society and all the things I feel are wrong in it.  The list of problems seems to be never-ending.  One that pertains to me directly, however, is that of our public school system.

It seems to me that it is a twisted world where kids will fake sick and skip class to avoid the jungle that is public education.  In the old days, children were privileged to attend school.  Our elders say it is lack of determination and willpower, but today’s youth are some of the most driven people in the world, churning out new ideas and developments left and right.

It is ironic that some of the most iconic developments of our time (i.e. Facebook and Apple) were created by people who dropped out of school.  What does this say about our education system?  Many politicians work to promote education and “leave no student behind,” but these programs are the same ones that are ruining public education.  These programs, though they mean well, often cater to the lowest common denominator, leaving the kids who are more advanced in their studies hopelessly bored in class.  This means listening to a teacher explain a topic that they can learn in five minutes, six times because one student cannot grasp it.

Our school is fortunate to be able to offer so many advanced and AP classes.  There are many schools in lower socioeconomic places that are only able to offer a few, if any, advanced courses.  In these schools, there is a lot of potentially unrecognized brilliance because the students are not given an opportunity to be challenged.

The American school system needs to take note from the school system of Finland.  There, students are all on the same level and they have a 17.5 percent higher high school graduation rate than the US.  Class sizes are smaller and more one-on-one instruction.  There is also less homework given and fewer standardized tests are taken.  Though their system seems relaxed, Finnish students consistently rank among the world’s top students.  Our public education system shows no signs of changing anytime soon, but when the day comes for a complete revamp of the system, I hope the government will take into consideration the ideas of students and administration and model the system after Finland.