"Schools are too easy." Is this a quote from a new group of business leaders who are concerned about job skills or the universities that claim that they must still remediate their students?
No, this is the voice of students!
This week the Center for American Progress released an analysis of three years of questionnaires from the National Assessment of Educational Progress…NAEP or the "Nation's Report Card".
In the fourth grade, 37% of the students said that math was "often" or "always" too easy. For history, 57% of eighth graders said the same thing. In high school, 39% of seniors said that they rarely wrote about what they were reading.
While the cry from many communities is that teachers are overloading students' time, minds, and backpacks, it seems that this is not the case for large numbers who flatly believe that school is not very taxing.
Homework is often a policy debate for school boards and teachers. Testing is seen as so stressful for teachers and students that creativity is being sacrificed.
Most reactors to the study acknowledge that a small group of students are pushed by many internal and external factors, but amazingly most professionals are not surprised by the students' responses.
Industrial psychology has historically taught us that minimum expectations can become maximum productivity. If you don't ask for much, you don't get much.
While it would be fair to assume that school is easy for some students because they are very capable, it is unfair to assume that schools would not be challenging for everyone.
Perhaps we owe our children a change in our expectations...or as Webster defines it, "eager anticipation".