The education system, in recent years, has undergone some serious changes.
In my own school, we’ve seen a jump rise in various programs of influence among the students, ranging from the implementation of the AP Capstone two-year research program, to the introduction of new classes like AP Computer Science or AP Biology. Not only are these considerably more difficult classes, but additionally, new tech dual enrollment programs are being offered with a special focus on trades concerning computer technology and engineering.
Yet, with all of this diversity in curriculum and vocational education, schooling in the United States has become more streamlined and one size fits all then ever before.
Education is rapidly becoming less about the power of learning and more about the ability to take a test.
We can cite various examples of this kind of shift in the ideals involved in learning in the growing prominence of standardized tests and Common Core style learning.
Not only are these standardized testing programs becoming the new norm in the classroom, but also in the scope of getting into a university. College Board testing and ACT testing are two major exams that help students gain acceptance into their chosen college so that they may beginning studying in their selected field.Once again, these tests are standardized to ensure that each student is taking the same test, with the same questions, and same scoring rubric. Once again, the notion that just as not all students want to become doctors, not all students have the same brain compatibility when it comes to the tests that they take, yet, a single computer generated exam is being given the weight of determining whether or not someone is accepted into their dream university; judging a Theatre major on her ability to do math instead of her presence on the stage.
With specific guidelines being set, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for students to find an individual outlet or place where simply being themselves and doing what they love will make them successful. Standardization is a lot like issuing specific parts for a machine. You decide on what is going to be the best model and then create a mold into which to force all the cogs.
Children and teenagers are not machines, though the School Board would like to think otherwise. We have to acknowledge that adolescents have specific attributes and interests that have to be pursued and explored. School is supposed to act as a safe haven where one can investigate the possibilities of themselves. If there is not time allotted for the individuals to explore interests for themselves, we face an uncertain future of well educated minds being put to waste in fields that make them unhappy and dissatisfied. Standardization pulls out individuality at its roots and has the potential to cut off a dream before it is really able to even breathe at all. There is a change that needs to be made from factory to facility, streamline to supportive… Robots to revolutionaries.
Poulson is a contributor for The Millennial Times.