September 20, 2016
Dear Future President,
My name is Isabelle and I am a fifteen year old student enrolled in our country’s public education system. Many changes have come through during my eleven years in school. Some have effected me personally while other I have witnessed second-hand through older friends and family members. Either way, there are definitely some major flaws in our public education systems today that need to be addressed.
As soon as elementary school begins, unnecessary testing and the pressure to succeed is practically shoved down the throats of students. As students move along in the education system and proceed to higher grades and class levels, these standards are increased and the expectations for kids are raised. Though there is nothing wrong with pushing students to fulfill their potential and attempt to achieve the highest level of greatness they can reach, these concepts are sometimes introduced in the wrong way. Personally, I do not have a problem with keeping up on school work and pushing myself mentally because I have the personal motivation to do so, but some students are not as lucky.
The kids who aren’t as encouraged to succeed are often told to just study what they don’t understand and try harder, for they will not get into a good college or have a prosperous future if they don’t. Being told that all that matters is the grade you receive is not an effective way to motivate students to work harder. These kind of things are what drive kids to lack focus and acquire a hatred for classes and teachers. Although this is degrading, the way our education system works, students are seen less as people and more as a statistic or number to our government. State testings aren’t even made to test a student’s knowledge of the subject anymore, they are made to be challenging and stressful for the test taker and used in charts to show the government how kids are “improving” in school. There isn’t a problem with challenging us to think about questions in a different way, but throwing this kind of curriculum, particularly at our generation who grew up learning in a completely different way, at kids was not the best approach to the situation. Along with this, moving on in the education process is another difficult process.
In this day in age, the ability to get a well-paying, stable job usually requires you to have at least two years of schooling outside of a high school education. Despite the demand for this type of education, colleges have made it extremely difficult to get in. First, you must have good grades acquired from high school and also impressive test scores on difficult tests such as the SATs or ACTs. Not only that, but you also have to have $50,000 for tuition. For one year. Now I know things like financial aid exists but we can’t all get small loans of $1 million from our fathers and call it a day. Leaving college with debts as much as $200,000 is insane and can hinder your ability to afford other things you will also need in the future, like a car or a home. Especially now, since diplomas and extra years of schooling are so necessary and demanding in order for you to be successful and a functioning member of society, the need for a lower priced education system is completely necessary. Students that have the motivation to further their intelligence and skills should be considered and the price of an education should reflect the affordability of an average citizen.
These changes should be made in order to make education even more accessible to lower or middle class citizens. Not only should we all be able to afford an education, but we should be able to choose and enjoy what we learn in schools. Thank you for taking these factors into consideration and helping out the children, or soon to be adults, of my generation.