Have you ever seen an eighth grader, who has no mental or physical disabilities, struggle through basic third grade math? Throughout high school I have and it has become a common sight in our schools. Some were placed in remedial classes, while others sat next to me in some of my honors course. Students are being passed through school without being taught the basic skills necessary to be successful in todays society. Measures need to be taken so that these students are not pushed through school and thrown into the real world without the skills necessary to succeed. The solution to this is through standardized classes and periodic evaluations of both teachers and students.
In the past standardized classrooms have been looked down upon, because of the concept that all students do not learn at the same rate. This is true; there shouldnt be a standard that is untouchable for most students. There should be a standard so that when a student graduates he or she is prepared to be a productive part of society. Besides just having a standard there must be some way to check that it is being followed.
There are standards in place now that try and make sure that a student is learning what he or she needs to graduate. These are in the forms of test. The problem with these tests is that they are taken every few years. By this time a student may be so far behind and lack the skills necessary that it would take a miracle to have him or her master the essential skills. Another problem with this is finding out where they went wrong. The way these evaluations should be done is by looking at several of the students tests during the school year. This will also make sure the teacher is on track and teaching the assured skills. This process also allows the teacher to know where her students stand among the other classes being taught the same thing. These standards and evaluations would also make the teacher take more time to prepare for class.
Too many times teachers look at what they have to cover in a given school year and say it is too much, sometimes because they are too lazy to prepare a proper lesson plan. They then do not follow the guidelines set by you, the state. I have been in a class where we were way behind kids that were taking the same course but a different teacher. This hurts the kids and I that were in my far behind classes because we were denied the proper skills that the course should provide. A teacher with a standard to follow will now have to motivate his or herself more because they know what they have to cover. They also know that they will be checked to see if they are lacking as educators. Teachers sometime look at a class and determine what pace they should move at. In a standard class they would have to push themselves and the student. In these classes the teacher and the student both know what is expected.
Sometimes students are put in classes where they do not know what to expect. This hurts a student because if they knew what to expect they would be able to semi-prepare for the class. A student tends to relax more in a class where the pace is already set ahead of time. Standardized classrooms allow a student to know what is expected of them. The evaluation system to enforce these standards would make students continually work hard because they never know when or what they are to be evaluated. Even with these standards and evaluations some students are still likely to fall behind.
Standardizing would also result in standardizing the grading scale. In some high school districts, the grading scale is 94-100 is an A, 85-93 is a B, and so on. In many other districts the grading scale is 90-100 is an A, 80-89 is a B, and so on. This presents an unfair advantage to the easier grading scale. A student may have 92s throughout high school and receive a B, while others get 92s a receive As. If the state would standardize all school districts than this would not present a problem, but right now some kids are getting into a better colleges because of this grading scale.
Some students, no matter how hard they try, simply can not keep up will all students in certain subjects. Students learn and grasp concepts at different rates and that will always be one case scenario. Standard classes should not be used to stick all students in the same level class. They should be used to make sure the inevitable skills are taught. The goal of these standards is not for the standards to be met but exceeded. Those who can surpass these standards should be placed in a course that allows them to excel. No one learns at the same rate, but all students should be able to master basic skills by the time they graduate.
Standard classes are a sure way to make sure student will master the basic skills by the time they graduate high school. These skills are necessary for a students success after high school. Whether it is college or the work force, these skills will set a strong foundation for whatever a person chooses. Is that not the point of school? Please do not throw children into the world without preparing us for it first.