Being a senior in my last quarter of high school, and being involved heavily in both the academic and athletic sides of school life, I think I am adequately qualified and well versed enough to author an ‘exit review’ of sorts. The goal of this article is not to pointlessly bash on the school system. Enough people already do that as it is. The goal is to find reasonable and legitimate areas that can be feasibly worked on.
The biggest and most relevant of the points of interest would be the balance of power between teachers and students. Teachers are able to do an objectively bad job, and the students aren’t able to do much about it. There are those who don’t teach enough, those who have unusual and confusing grading patterns, those with attitudes unconducive toward learning, among other things. It would be very helpful, even if only to a student’s state of mind, if they were able to leave teacher reviews similar to how students can in some college courses, using websites like ‘ratemyprofesors.com’ and more. By no means though should student opinion be the sole decider of a teacher’s performance. High schoolers are too prone to petty outbursts and over-emotional reactions for that. But their opinions should absolutely be taken into account when looking over a teacher’s performance.
Another common issue, and one particularly felt by myself and some of my peers, is lack of challenge. This has less to do with the challenge of the courses themselves, but the pace that they are presented at. Offering accelerated tracks for some classes would go a long way towards helping the people who are left unchallenged by a more even keeled pace of learning.
While there are many ways that schools can improve, and many ways that they have, the biggest area for improvement in my opinion would be allowing for student feedback. The primary participators in the system often aren’t able to make an influence until after they are no longer in it, and they are likely out of touch with the current state of school by the time they are able to make a difference.