Even our students know that they graduate from High School, unprepared for the challenges of the real world. Whether it be going on to college or going directly into the workforce and facing the trials of every day living.
Federally Mandated “Common Core” Standards and standardized testing need to be removed from our educational systems. This federally imposed, intrusive, anti-parent and anti-American curriculum must be stopped before doing further damage in our schools. Even though it has not been “adopted” by our State Legislature, many of the textbooks in classrooms bear the statement “common core compliant”. Education should be controlled at the local level. The federal Government should have no mandate on what the schools of Pennsylvania teach.
Immediate changes that I would like to see as graduation requirements:
Certification in basic first aid and CPR (required by 14 other states)
Financial literacy: calculating interest, balancing a checkbook and budgeting,
Automobile skills that would include changing a tire, checking tire pressure, checking oil, and radiator fluid levels
Life Skills such as laundry and food preparation. (A 2014 University of Georgia study found that 21% of 40,000 high school seniors surveyed, did not know how to open canned foods
I would support the current House legislation that requires families with school age children, who are receiving public assistance, to have their children in attendance at school, or lose their public subsidies.
This responsibility for proper learning does not rest directly upon teachers, parents or administration of the school system. It exists because of the disconnect between them. The myriad of demands placed upon schools, often by people who have no experience in education, hurt the entire system. Making teachers "teach to the test" and miss out on creative and enriching possibilities that many dedicated professionals would love to bring into the classroom.
Administrators have great difficulty removing teachers from the classroom, even if it has been demonstrated that the are unable, or unwilling, to meet the basic needs of the students.
Parents have been conditioned to expect less of their schools. Some parents leave basic discipline to the schools, others are too busy with their lives, to be involved with the students. Some are great partners with teachers and administration.