Letters to the Editor

Our education system fails far too many

Approximately 20 percent of our students nationwide drop out of school. In many larger cities the rate soars to 80 percent. What happens when students drop out and don’t become part of our productive American family?

Seventy-five percent of incarcerated criminals are school dropouts. Are they totally to blame for their failure, or does society share that failure? Is the focus on higher standardized test scores so the education system may “pat itself on its back” more important than ensuring each student leaves school prepared for positive achievement?

Our education system is designed to allow failure for those most susceptible. Our education system that should help every child destroys the aspirations of many — which fulfills that 20 percent of the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule). Why are those most susceptible for failure forced to compete academically with the top 20 percent of those more academically gifted? Shouldn’t they be granted success routes other than through standardized academics? What’s wrong with preparing less academically gifted students to leave school with common job skills that would carry them to self-sustaining jobs that encourage pride and positive assimilation?

This dilemma will never be resolved until the fundamental purpose for education is established — and promoted on billboards across our nation. Is it: to prepare for college, to pass standardized tests, to become socialized, to be led toward a certain political philosophy, or to prepare for one’s highest potential to participate and contribute positively in our society? What is it?

Will Clark