Thursday, August 11, 2005

High Schoolers Want More Demanding Work

High School kids are not asking for more lock-downs at bed-times. (See the story in the next posting). I think kids thrive and welcome opportunities to face challenges. Every kid can't be pushed in every setting. But too often we push nobody in any setting.
By Monisha Bansal

( -- American high school students generally want more difficult coursework, but are willing to cheat in order to handle the pressure that accompanies the more challenging work, according to the Horatio Alger Association, which released a report Tuesday on the "State of Our Nation's Youth."

"The state of America's youth provides invaluable insight into the attitudes, perspectives, and goals of America's young people," said Anthony Hutcherson, communications specialist for the Horatio Alger Association.

"There is no sense that the status quo is acceptable. What students are saying is that we want to raise the bar. We want to do things differently," said Peter D. Hart, president of the firm that conducted the survey.

Eighty-eight percent of students aged 13 to 19 said schools weren't doing enough, and that they would work harder if expectations were higher, the survey results demonstrated. They called for more real-world learning opportunities, earlier advice about careers and more opportunities for advanced placement courses.

"Four years after No Child Left Behind (Bush education initiative), there is no difference in how students rate their own schools. It's acceptable, but not impressive," said Hart.

The survey also revealed a high level of dishonesty among today's American teenaged students. Half of them admitted to cheating and 97 percent said they knew students who had cheated.

"In a world where all institutions from athletes to business corporations to the media are not playing by the rules, you can hardly be shocked that students say that they are cheating," said Hart.

Nitika Sethi, a high school junior from Vienna, Va., explained that "there is a drive to get the grade and students are willing to go to new limits to get a certain percentage at the end of the marking period."

The survey reported that 80 percent of students considered pressure over grades a problem. Combined with the many other issues potentially producing anxiety for teens, like the threat of terrorism, Hart concluded that high school students are facing a "more serious world than ever before.

High Schoolers Cheat, But Want More Demanding Work -- GOPUSA

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