A eulogy for schools

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“School makes me….” If you were to ask most, the answer would be along the lines of the search suggestions: “sad”, “angry”, “feel dumb”, and “depressed.” For those who believe that the mental health epidemic is a myth, I implore you to look outside your current sphere of understanding. Only then can you look towards becoming a better you! Be a partaker of empathy, not an instigator of idiocy.

Now let’s real quick put this super real life situation (so real you might actually think it contains a sliver of truth) in context. It’s no surprise that America is diverse. Whether it be racially, ethnically, politically, socioeconomically, or mentally. Kids are in the foster care system, their families never seem to have a safety net, and they’re just trying to change things up for themselves.

In more simplistic terms, they’ve got a lot of hope and so do their parents. Parents who worked various blue collar jobs to sustain their kids and give them a better life with a specific dream in mind. Perhaps their kids could get a one of a kind education offered only in these great states! After all, this is a land of dreamers, visa holders, and even refugees. Let’s just say, anything is possible. If I got you all excited, that’s my bad. Now imagine giving up everything (haha if you had anything in the first place to give up) to get to the land of the free only to be halted by, you might’ve guessed it, tests.

Let’s talk about me for a quick second. My parents gave up everything so that I might be happier when pursuing an education. Only one problem, the system at work does not work in the best interests of people like you and me. I’m not saying I suck at taking tests, but I suck at taking tests. It becomes sort of an issue when teachers then weigh 90-100% of the final grade on tests.

Undermined equity and excellence. A common trend amongst students is their belief in their dignity coming strictly from how well they perform in school. A low GPA being their life grade. A score on a test being their grade for how they will feel for the next few weeks to come until the next test rolls around.

School dampening spirits. It’s sort of an objective truth. Yet, no one wants to change a system that has been in use since the first quarter of the 19th century. Thinking outside the box and venturing into a system proven to be statistically better? Unheard of.

APA reports unusually high levels of stress amongst students in the last decade, ages 13-17. If this wasn’t enough to convince you, there’s more! Testing bias (specifically in standardized tests) of race, ethnicity, sex, and low socioeconomic status are present everywhere.

So how do we combat this? It’s our duty to inform educators of what we have felt and what we have seen. This suffering so prevalent around us must be stopped. Yet, all of this isn’t enough of a reason for initiating any sort of change. I mean, if you can’t see it, it’s apparently not real.

If you can’t see any sort of issue with this, your IQ is probably so embarrassing, your mom was struck dead when she saw. But I also don’t really care about your IQ because this whole article is about how tests don’t take into account individual excellence.

Comment “f” if you’ve seen this. Let’s see exactly how influential this article can get.