Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Is More Rigor the Answer For U.S. High Schools?

March 15, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I read with interest your front-page article “States Take Steps to Put More Rigor Into High Schools” (March 2, 2005). My current job involves tutoring college applicants who have failed a placement test, and this gives me a vantage point that many in public education may not have.

Here are some of the comments I’ve heard from recent high school graduates. After a demonstration of problems that involve adding and subtracting negative numbers and using a number line, two students told me, “We never learned anything like this.” Another recent graduate I showed how to multiply and divide with positive and negative numbers said, “I don’t know any of this. Not one thing.”

While I was teaching a free SAT-preparation class for high school juniors, one young man approached me almost in tears. “I know I am in real trouble here,” he said. “I want to go to college, but my teachers have not shown me one thing on this test.”

On my sample test, he had answered few questions—nowhere near the level required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for the sports scholarship he hoped to receive.

The problem is not students who don’t want to learn. Perhaps there are some like that, but I rarely see them. I see students who need more teaching, not more wasted class time. I see students who need hope and support, not more high-stakes tests.

Gerald Hawkins

Single-Subject Credential Student (Math)

Santa Clara, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the March 16, 2005 edition of Education Week as Is More Rigor the Answer For U.S. High Schools?

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week