The big problem for us is not the advanced students, though. It’s those who struggle to pass Algebra 1, and who will have loads of trouble with everything beyond that. There’s no room for failure, as repeating a class would require taking two math classes in the same year. (snip)She has a lot more to say about the new tougher requirements I will encourage parents and legislators to read through it. I'll remind people that we've had Democrats in control of the House Education Committee for a good long time and that committee, which was Memphis heavy, was responsible for these standards. I can't explain why they thought this was a good idea when they clearly knew that too many of their students couldn't reliably maintain a B average to qualify for lottery scholarships.
The bottom line is, today’s high school students have many fewer options than their parents did, and next year’s freshmen will have still fewer options than their older siblings did. There is no room for experimentation — they’re essentially picking a "major" for high school. Unlike college, there is no room for changing majors.
At 14, a student must choose a path for the rest of her life.
Taxpayers, voters and parents should look toward the new Republican controlled Tennessee legislature and encourage them to seriously consider rolling back some of this. These new standards may look good on paper and in theory however, they will not improve the graduation rates. They will only increase the dropout rate as more and more students who didn't get Algebra I, partly because their basic arithmetic or reading skills were insufficient, get frustrated and leave.
It seems a good time to review just what our society can afford to provide in the way of education. It has got to be clear to nearly everyone that the sky is not the limit. Let's set some reasonable benchmarks and once they've mastered those skills let's free up students to move on with their lives outside of taxpayer supported government schooling in the workplace or further education or training.