In reading a recent post by Will Richardson regarding the upcoming Back-to-School speech by President Obama, I have become increasingly saddened by a thought I have been holding onto for awhile now but haven’t verbalized anywhere: Is “education” only about passing, GPAs, and getting into college? And if that is what has it become, how will learners today be driven to continue to be learners tomorrow, or the day after that?
I have become increasingly weary of kids asking me what is the least they can do to get such-and-such a grade; of administration telling kids to push for just a few more decimal points in their GPAs; of teachers spending literally months of Saturdays teaching kids how to take the SAT so that they can get a certain score, or if they don’t, then preparing them to take and retake it until they do.
I teach because I love to share thoughts and passions. Kids don’t want that. They want to know how they can get extra credit. Administration doesn’t want that. They want to be able to show progress on overall standardized test scores. Parents don’t want that. They want their kids to get into a “good” school.
So what then DOES it mean to be educated? 😦