Public Education Needs to Change

An outdated ideology is the problem in education

Public Education Needs to Change

Evan Esker, Contributing Writer

Every day, I wake up in the morning and lay there for hours. On a school day, I can typically get away with thirty minutes to an hour. I’ve seen this problem in just about every single one of my friends. We openly sleep through multiple classes in the morning, skip classes in the middle of the day, even leave school early–and not because of a last-block study. I myself would openly admit to anyone that one day I skipped my G and F block classes to read outside in the courtyard because it was a nice day and it felt euphoric. The next day, a friend and I traveled through the halls to get Gatorade and visit our friends at multiple lunches during a study. It’s just too easy. 

If there’s something that people aren’t talking about with teenagers, it’s this exact attitude. I’ve seen this development in myself and my friends growing since freshman year of high school, and I can say with confidence that while quarantine and online school definitely contribute to it, the current pandemic is not the source of the issue: The only development in education since my own parents were in high school is the integration of technology to make some things more convenient. That’s it. 

I believe my generation is increasingly less tolerant of this prehistoric system: The ideology of making small victories through getting good grades on tests, turning in assignments early, or even just getting your work done in small amounts at a time. Nowadays, the only small victories we achieve are how much time we can get away with not being in a class or doing something besides schoolwork every day because we cannot see the consequence in our actions. 

During my junior year, I saw a large spike in these behaviors in myself throughout the year, but when online school started last March, you know for a fact that I did the least amount of work possible. It was too easy. On day one, I thought, “Oh, you’re only making us do 7/12 assignments? Sounds good to me!” So, during weeks one through seven, I did the bare minimum to get credit so I could spend the following five weeks doing as little as possible. 

The school administration knows this is an issue, but they don’t want to talk about it. Our current school administration does not know how to solve issues. When you announce there are a record number of students failing classes, you can’t just expect things to change. If the problem is spread across so many students, then I’d consider it highly unfair to blame us for it and expect us to make the changes required.

I’ve never asked for much from the school, but is less homework and some focus on mental health really the end of the world? Especially this year–it would really mean a lot if someone who could do something would listen and have this conversation. Who thought the solution to these two problems would be “Stress Less Week” with your host Obadiah? Homework-free weekends that are held three–maybe four–times a year do not help the majority of the student body. 

I appreciate these things. I’ve made my rounds to see Obadiah during homeroom and after lunch, but a dog will not distract me from the bigger issue. The lack of conversation and transparency in our school and education system today is the problem.