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Students report, “school is too easy”.

According to a report from the Center for American Progress analyzed three years of questionnaires from the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, a national test given each year.

Among the findings:

  • •37% of fourth-graders say their math work is “often” or “always” too easy;
  • •57% of eighth-graders say their history work is “often” or “always” too easy;
  • •39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.
  • Only one in five eighth-graders read more than 20 pages a day, either in school or for homework. Most report that they read far less.

While this may not be true for all students, this is a problem for many.  Thanks to high stakes testing students are being taught “what to think” instead of “how to think”.  But the problem isn’t simply a matter of blaming the tests.  The phrase “rigor, relevance and relationships” comes quickly to mind.  Are our students being pressed to a rigorous curriculum or have we watered down our standards?  Do students see the relevance of what they are being taught?  Or are they simply being told, “Learn this because it will be on the test”.  Or, “you may need this later in your life’.  Are we boring our students?  The Gates Foundation report, “The Silent Epidemic” said that the reason students dropout of school is they are being bored.  The curriculum is just void of critical thinking, creative thinking.  As a result, students are probably bored, and when they’re bored, they think the classes are easy.

 

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