Today’s post is from Ed Speaks editorial board member, Christine Geraci.
For millions of our nation’s children, school is apparently a total cake-walk.
An analysis of federal survey data, recently released by the Center for American Progress, suggests a sizeable portion of students find school “too easy.” Although some students approach school so intensely they teeter toward nervous breakdowns, the “broad swath” of American students are simply not engaged in their schoolwork, the analysis indicates.
OK, hold up a second.
Personally, I’m a little confused. If school is so easy, then why aren’t more of our students acing standardized tests?
Maybe it’s because there’s a big difference between “too easy” and “not engaging.”
In the USA Today article on this topic, Florida State University English education professor Shelbie White offers a very plausible explanation: “Students are probably bored, and when they’re bored, they think classes are easy.”
In that article, you’ll also see a lot of varying opinions in the comments section. Some people think this “school-is-too-easy” business stems from the dismantling of non-mandated programs such as art, music and various extracurricular activities. Others think reasonably-achieving students are left to idle while schools focus their resources on lower-performing students. Others still blame it all on standardized testing.
I know when I’m not challenged by a project or activity, I need to watch myself, because I tend to make more mistakes. Is that what’s happening here?
What do you think? Is school really too easy, or just…not that stimulating?