Opinion: High school turns students into zombies, change is needed


Kendra Perry

Mrs. Swazo and a student do math at a table in the hallways.

Lisette Harris, Staff Reporter

The first thing I notice when I walk into K-Park is the disinterest in many tired eyes. Students walk in the halls like zombies, counting down the minutes until the clock hits 2:50 p.m.

Students in schools across the U.S. have lost the drive and passion to put in the effort to more challenging classes — a problem deeply rooted in how education in this country has been handled. The tired, worn-out students represent a problem within not only the education system, but the students themselves.

Reform is necessary in both departments, because this is appalling.

For example, a 2003 National Research Council report on motivation in students says that nearly 40 percent of high school students are chronically disengaged from school.

Suggesting that all students should have to know the same things before they move up to the next grade limits the student’s potential and diminishes the focus they would have in the courses that are better for them personally.

The extreme focus on standardized testing does not help either. In fact, a 2015 poll from Phi Delta Kappa International states that 67 percent of public school parents believe that there is too much emphasis on testing.

As a witness to the extreme anxiety felt by  students during the standardized testing, I know that something needs to be done to help with our education system. Too many students are haunted by failing test scores because of cramming in several different classes.

A PDK poll said that 51 percent of public school parents believe that the change in education standards is for the worst.

Even though half believe otherwise, these statistics show that many parents are concerned for the education of their children and how the school system is working.

Students themselves, however, are not without blame. Many of my peers are immature and cannot handle the responsibility of keeping up with their grades. I have overheard many accounts of students talking about going to a party the previous night even though they had a chemistry packet to complete.

This lack of drive is one of the reasons that in my first year at K-Park, I was told the class of 2017 had a saying: “cheat, don’t repeat.” That mantra is proof of another one of the biggest problems about the school system: people get away with this.

When I hear of students making 80’s on assignments that they turned in several days late and I make a 90 on the same worksheet  I stayed up until 1 a.m. to complete, I feel extremely discouraged to try as hard as I usually do.

Students should never feel this way, and other students should not have the easy way out. Something should be done to solve these things. Something should be done to make us learn again.

Teachers need to experiment with different ways of teaching their classroom to fit a variety of students who learn in other ways. They should refrain from throwing tons of book work to students; interaction is the key to encouraging students to learn.

Students should start to realize that their education is important, that it is the stepping stool to deciding what they want in a career.

If both sides make these kinds of changes, then the education system can break out of the rut it is currently in.