Dear Next President,
As High School student, I along with the rest of my classmates are faced with important decisions coming up, such as deciding whether to go straight into the working force or go to college, what to study in college, where to study. For some, myself included, the answers to those questions are not going to be easy to make, but when I do decided what it is I would like to do, I hope I have been prepared properly. Hard work and time has been invested into me through the educational system from both the teachers and the parents. So I hope it has all not been wasteful. This problem happening with high school students is not just a year in the making, but a problem that has been rooted in elementary school, where education all started.
I noticed this was a problem in second grade, the first time my class was divided. The class had two reading groups; one for the students who were advanced readers, and one for the rest of the students. The teacher worked very hard and spent equal time working with both groups. But by the end of second grade, the majority of students stayed with their assigned group, not improving, which obviously was not the goal of the teacher. I had the luxury of having parents at home who helped and supported me with my educational needs. The National Center for Education Statistics has determined that “Twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times a week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet.” (NCES) Something as simple as letters are the very building blocks of reading, writing and spelling as well as the education to follow. If the basics are not being taught at home, they need to be taught at school by the teacher. Elementary school education is critical to get a good understanding of the subject to be able to build on the concepts you have learned. We can not overlook this important.
There are a few fears that I have in our education system. The first being a very simple concept. If our next generation is unable to read and write in second grade, how will they successfully continue to the next grade level. It would be so hard to graduate from high school is the basics have been neglected. It is not always the students fault to be below average and are struggling. Education is made to build on itself, so if the basics were missed, that student will continue to play catch up the entire time they are in the educational system. This then becomes a cycle where the student becomes an adult that struggles to get a job, live week to week. It is not fair for that person to live that way, since they fell behind in elementary school. A similar worry I have relates back to being a part of a divided group. I am in all Advanced Placement classes that challenge me every day. I have learned more in the past few months of school than the entire past school year. But at the same time, I always worry will I be ready for college, have I been prepared? This brings up if I feel this way, what about the students struggling in non AP classes. How do they feel. About the next chapter of their lives.
What I am asking you to do as the President, is a very simple task at first. Please look at the current education system in this country, specifically in the elementary schools. Are the students being prepared? Are the students ready for the next grade level? Can each and every student meet the current standards for each grade level? Also reflect on the educators. Are they performing well enough to teach the youth of America? If the answer to these questions are no, we cannot sit here and do nothing. These struggling children will grow up into struggling adults. We must act on this problem and invest in early childhood education.
Mead High School