Failing To Teach Essay

1175 words - 5 pages

Are teachers, and their unions, doing all that they can to improve the quality of education in the United States? Most people would say yes since teachers are the medium that conveys knowledge to students, and to which I agree; however, I find that teachers are actually fabricating their actions. Teachers, currently, are jeopardizing the educational system while hiding behind their pure image of them struggling to improve education.
By lowering the standards of education, teachers are allowing students to reach the bare minimum requirements to pass each grade level, which does not allow them to be prepared for life, let alone college. Jerry Jesness, an educator and consultant in the ESL profession, wrote about this issue in his article “Why Johnny Can’t Fail”. Jesness called this situation the “floating standard,” where teachers submit to the complaints of parents and teachers (41-42). Teachers, who should be holding students to high standards so they can reach their potential, are unable to uphold this expectation since they received negative comments from parents that the teachers are too harsh on the students, yet ironically, parents wants their students to learn the best to succeed in life. That does not make sense to me at all. Of course, others might say that this is not the teacher’s fault but the parent’s instead. To that, I would reply, “Well, why aren’t the teachers doing more to prevent it, such as publicizing this situation, instead of readily surrendering to the pressure?” I once had an English teacher, who at first seemed ready to make her students reach their potential, but after many students complained to her for being too hard and parents calling in, she became more relaxed on grading and barely cared about teaching. She just gave up so easily, and with no struggle. The image is easily recognizable to students as the sign that they can put little to no efforts and still pass. Here, I argue with “knowledge is power, but a diploma is just a piece of paper” (Jesness 43). Without proper knowledge instilled in students, schools have sent students to the real world without proper education with just a diploma, as most people assume it is all they need. Ultimately, the heart of the issue is that students are being sent, unprepared, out to the world since teachers are unable to hold students to high standards. If these students are our future, and those who will lead the country, we need them to be able to achieve the standards needed for both theirs, and our, survival.
Thus, teachers setting low standards to students are only teaching the students to standardized tests. Bronwyn T. Williams’ article “Standardized Students,” claims that standardized tests and assessments do not encourage students to be literate by showing that their writing reflects themselves, but as a system to observe if the “standard” skills has been taught and achieved. He wishes for a future where “students, once their days of school are over, will be inspired...

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