A colleague of mine proferred this simple question on her facebook status:
“Help me out friends and family: What’s something you’d like schools/teachers/classes/administrators to do to help make a positive change for our future.”
Work together to ease college admissions expectations for non-academic requirements. It’s ridiculous that many university music programs, for example, require students to perform concerto movements for admission–this is what is required of professionals auditioning into orchestras. Do universities want to teach or only to educate prodigies? And yes, the author of this rant does hold two music degrees.
And what does this encourage our high school juniors and seniors to focus on? Are they strengthening their learning skills in other subjects or essentially guaranteeing they’ll be academically unprepared to handle the rigor of college-level learning? The same goes for extra-curricular activities and volunteerism expectations in general, while the only academic assessment is a cursory glance at GPA and SAT scores. The typical high school senior is spread too thin trying to achieve excellence in so many areas other than learning beyond standardized tests, that things such as critical and creative thinking, and the ability to take ownership of their own knowledge acquisition is entirely undervalued.
Sorry for the novel, Melissa…must have struck a chord with me.