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Failing School Systems: Are Students To Blame?

1276 words - 5 pages

The United States educational system is failing. This topic is in the news repeatedly. Failing schools are a problem that must fixed. However, it cannot be fixed until we figure out its real cause. Many people put the blame on the government, school officials, and teachers. Critics such as Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, say that the problem lies within the public schools. He states, “Public schools are bad, privately managed charter schools are good” (Ravitch 1). This may be a true statement but there must also be an underlying cause for low school performance. Nobody ever thinks the students may have something to do with this problem. The students are the ones who are taking the tests, paying attention in class and completing the homework. Nevertheless, from another view it may not always be the child’s fault. Maybe other factors contribute to this. Some students want to succeed but they do not always have the necessary resources to do so. These reasons are student’s determination, financial limitations, family support, insufficient housing, and poor nutrition.
Some students do want to succeed in life however successful needs to be defined in order to figure out criteria for success. According to Merriam-Webster, success is an “a degree of succeeding” and “a favorable or desired outcome”. In other words, success is having a series of goals set in order to achieve a bigger goal or accomplishment. When someone tries to obtain success, students need the necessary resources and support from those around them. Dan Goldhaber, an economist from the University of Washington, school achievement is caused by problems that don’t have anything to do with school (Ravitch 2). There are students who can succeed if they have help available. A prime example of this is the movie the Blindside, a movie about an African American teenager who was falling behind in school. He had bad grades, and according to his teachers an unwillingness to learn. However, soon after a wealthy Caucasian family took him in. As soon as he began to get the love and support that he needed, he began to transform into the teenager that he knew he could always be. His grades, attitude, and abilities improved. On top of that, he became one of the star football players on his high school team. This goes to show that a little love and support can take a person a long way.
There are various reasons why a student cannot succeed or perform to their full potential. Some reasons they have control over such as the amount of effort put into school and homework.
Many students do not want to put in the necessary effort needed to succeed in school. They may not have the willingness to learn. This could be because they do not have the focus for school. Even if they have the focus, some choose not come or participate in class. This can be because students feel like it is not cool to join into class discussions. The students need to be willing to complete all their...

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