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OPINION: The school system is failing and students are paying the price

By Alexa Quiroz

In today’s society, debates about the flaws of the public school system have become increasingly critical. The public school system is intended to provide all students with equal opportunities for academic success and growth. However, throughout the years it has become more clear that the system is failing to fulfill its true purpose and students have been the ones left to pay the price. 

Several factors contributed to the drop in test scores from 2019 through 2022, such as covid, and remote learning, causing students to adapt to new learning environments. Recent test scores from The New York Times has stated “From 2019 to 2022, test scores plunged: Students lost more than half a year of learning.” The steady decline in academic performance among students is a clear indicator of the school systems failures. The decline of scores represents the issues that have taken over the system, such as insufficient resources, outdated teaching methods, and lack of diverse learning needs. By limiting the students’ resources to succeed, the public school system has set up unfair differences between students and does not ensure the same and equal education for everyone. As scores decrease so does the security of children. 

As time passes the increase in school shootings has increased as well. School shootings have had an impact on students, families, and communities. Schools are no longer able to provide a safe, productive, and healthy learning environment. CNN states “There have been at least 16 school shootings in the United States so far this year, as of March 6” and later on stated “There were at least 82 incidents in 2023.” Schools need to address the urgent need for reforms and issues of gun violence. Until some kind of meaningful action is taken to stop future tragedies, the school system will continue to fall short to provide students with a safe space.  How exactly does this encourage students to attend school? The truth is that they no longer do. Instead a student walks through the halls in constant fear wondering if they will make it back home.

These disruptions interfere with the schools academic order, leading to chaos within schools. Students have trouble concentrating on their studies, worrying more about safety. As a result there are diminished outcomes and multiple academic setbacks. Many students have witnessed or heard about such tragic events. Such students often experience psychological trauma. 

“While high school dropout rates are decreasing, the United States experiences a daunting 40% college dropout rate every year,” said Imed Bouchrika, scientist who contributed to the foundation of academic research. A concerning number of students do not complete their high school education. Schools are failing to prepare students for future success, leading back to the system’s lack of resources. 

The decline of academic scores, school shootings, and dropout rates portrait the failures among the school system. These challenges make students’ educational lives much more difficult. The public school system must fulfill its purpose to provide all students with equal, and safe education. Urgent action is needed to better help students gain a better education and future success before future generations of students are left behind.

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