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    Difference in School Standards

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    alexethridge

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Difference in School Standards

    Post  alexethridge on Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:52 am

    As students of Arcadia High School, we pride ourselves on our ability to juggle difficult courses as well as handle academic competition. We take AP classes, participate in the performing arts, lead and organize clubs on campus, compete with our teammates, and even write this newspaper because we believe that is what it means to be a high school student. So if all of these categories are what constitutes the average high-schooler in our general opinion, why are some schools across the nation allowing their students to pass with sub-par standards?
    Many states in America are setting their school’s curriculum at low standards so they can say that their students performing at their grade level requirements when they are in fact being deprived of a proper education. The Obama administration sees this pattern across the nation and is attempting to persuade all states to adopt the same tougher standards for their syllabi. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated, “We're lying to our children when we tell them they're proficient, but they're not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate." Although the federal government cannot impose an education standard on the states, Duncan is offering millions in federal grants to encourage them to assume one.
    Many argue that states should be raising their standards to help students compete with those of foreign nations, but according to the White House’s Education Department report, more states have lowered standards rather than raised them. Speculation on this topic has suggested that many states have lowered their schools’ curriculum in order to abide by the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act more easily. One uniform concern, however, is the inconsistency among state curriculums, and how one student’s performance cannot be accurately compared to another’s from a different state due to this variation in academic standards.
    While the question of school standards occurs across the nation, there is a definite difference in what is expected of AHS students than what is expected of others. Most schools near Arcadia follow a similar curriculum of the basics, but differ in aspects such as pressure, competition, and available courses. At AHS, it’s common to see students competitively comparing scores with friends’, or secretly ranking themselves among classmates based on grades. We pressure each other to do well because we are pressured by our community to be the best in everything we do, and this results in our school’s admirable achievements. However, some schools do not share the same beliefs as the ones we as a school enforce.
    Phoebe Feldsher, a junior at La Salle High School, believes that “some groups are competitive with grades, but we’re not pressured to take AP classes. I would say our school’s academic competition level is a five out of ten.” Jasper Ryden, a sophomore at Flintridge Prepatory, says, “My school’s curriculum is really rigorous, and I know a lot of school’s who have lighter workloads than us. It all depends on the school and how well the courses are taught.” Both La Salle and Flintridge Prep are private schools and have a different syllabus than AHS’, but neither appear to match the pressure found in our classes, which has a definite influence over students’ performances. “Going to a competitive school like AHS is good because it prepares us for college,” says sophomore Madeleine Barnes, “[but] it's bad because kids are practically killing themselves trying to pass classes.’
    The concept of a nation-wide academic standard has both its benefits and consequences, which will differ with every school under its curriculum. Regardless of what happens in the future concerning educational standards, AHS students will continue to work under the standards we set for ourselves, because that’s what we do best. After all, if they can do it, why can’t we?

    reginaliu

    Posts : 189
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Re: Difference in School Standards

    Post  reginaliu on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:05 am

    As students of Arcadia High School [AHS], we pride ourselves on our ability to juggle difficult courses as well as handle academic competition. We take AP classes, participate in the performing arts, lead and organize clubs on campus, compete with our teammates, and even write this newspaper because we believe that is what it means to be a high school student. So if all of these categories are what constitutes the average high-schooler [high school student] in our general opinion, why are some schools across the nation allowing their students to pass with sub-par standards?
    Many states in America are setting their school’s curriculum at low standards so they can say that their students [insert "are"] performing at their grade level requirements when they are in fact being deprived of a proper education. The Obama administration sees this pattern across the nation and is attempting to persuade all states to adopt the same tougher standards for their syllabi. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated, “We're lying to our children when we tell them they're proficient, but they're not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate." Although the federal government cannot impose an education standard on the states, Duncan is offering millions in federal grants to encourage them to assume one.
    Many argue that states should be raising their standards to help students compete with those of foreign nations, but according to the White House’s Education Department report, more states have lowered standards rather than raised them. Speculation on this topic has suggested that many states have lowered their schools’ curriculum in order to abide by the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act more easily. One uniform concern, however, is the inconsistency among state curriculums, and how one student’s performance cannot be accurately compared to another’s from a different state due to this variation in academic standards.
    While the question of school standards occurs across the nation, there is a definite difference in what is expected of AHS students than [replace with "and"] what is expected of others. Most schools near Arcadia follow a similar curriculum of the basics, but differ in aspects such as pressure, competition, and available courses. At AHS, it’s common to see students competitively comparing scores with friends’, or secretly ranking themselves among classmates based on grades. We pressure each other to do well because we are pressured by our community to be the best in everything we do, and this results in our school’s admirable achievements. However, some schools do not share the same beliefs as the ones we as a school enforce.
    Phoebe Feldsher, a junior at La Salle High School, believes that “some groups are competitive with grades, but we’re not pressured to take AP classes. I would say our school’s academic competition level is a five out of ten.” Jasper Ryden, a sophomore at Flintridge Prepatory, says, “My school’s curriculum is really rigorous, and I know a lot of school’s who have lighter workloads than us. It all depends on the school and how well the courses are taught.” Both La Salle and Flintridge Prep are private schools and have a different syllabus than AHS’, but neither appear to match the pressure found in our classes, which has a definite influence over students’ performances. “Going to a competitive school like AHS is good because it prepares us for college,” says sophomore Madeleine Barnes, “[but] it's bad because kids are practically killing themselves trying to pass classes.’
    The concept of a nation-wide academic standard has both its benefits and consequences, which will differ with every school under its curriculum. Regardless of what happens in the future concerning educational standards, AHS students will continue to work under the standards we set for ourselves, because that’s what we do best. After all, if they can do it, why can’t we? [It sounds kind of like you're saying in the second to last sentence that AHS students set their own standards regardless of that of other schools, but then your last sentence seems to imply that we do compare ourselves with the curricula of other schools.]

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