June 8

Race to Nowhere E.C. blog

The movie, Race to Nowhere, shows the pressure and stress children and teens go through in school these days.  Teachers are given too much homework and too many tests, and kids are literally losing sleep over it. The combination of school, sports, homework, chores, and work already takes up the majority of the week, leaving little to no time for family, friends, relaxing, and most importantly, sleep.

The movie told the story of one tragic suicide of a 13 year old stressed out girl, a situation that has happened far more than once due to school. Not only students, but teachers are unhappy with the way schools are run. One teacher shared her thoughts on how she feels that its hard for her to teach the things she thinks really matter and will help the students when the government is telling her students need to be taught. 

 The result? Kids are going crazy trying to learn all this information, and usually are just cramming it all in barely remembering any of it. Every student I spoke with that watched the film agreed with it. There is also another side viewers (mainly parents) took, saying that school should be difficult and failure is a part of life.

A story on endtherace.org describes Harvard or Walmart syndrome, where students and parents believe that success is defined as getting into Harvard, and if you don’t, you’ll have no other option but to work at Walmart for the rest of your life. 

The movie brought up a few different questions that it seems everyone has different answers to:

1. Where does this pressure come from: parents, teachers, the government, the universities or the students themselves?  Combination?

2. Are the tests and amount of homework given to students fair, or is it an overload?

3. Are standardized tests a good way to test students?

4. Sure, people are bringing up all these problems and saying everything that’s wrong and right, but what do the students think about their education? We’re already learning more than generations before us did (there’s more history, new scientific advances, new technology), but what should we be learning and how much work should we be doing?

5. So the real question: If you could design your own, realistic high school experience, what would one typical week look like?  How much homework is fair, how hard should the tests be, how much information would you be responsible for knowing, and what classes would be required to take?

 Please answer at least 3 questions. 

Thanks to Lizzie D. for writing this blog.

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Posted June 8, 2011 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

35 thoughts on “Race to Nowhere E.C. blog

  1. Lenny Gross

    1.) I believe that the majority of the pressure comes from expectations from your parents, and the pressure that colleges have nowadays. There is such a small acceptance rate for ivy league schools in today’s world. It’s actually believed by many that if you don’t get into a good school, the rest of your life will be a failure and there is no chance of you ever succeeding. Parents send much of the pressure themselves too, having both parents of mine go to one of the top 15 schools in the nation, the bar is set very high for me. I also have the attention span of a dead seahorse, so that doesn’t help me either.
    2.) I think the homework given to students is fair if there is a point to it. Far to often kids are having the same type of problems in math or the same questions in english class or the same comma worksheets, homework should be different and challenge students, then there would be a point to it. In all honesty, it really isn’t an overload. What I see not being fair is the gravity of tests. We learn the basics of everything and don’t dig in to the core subjects in classes like math and English and than we are tested on the core ideas of the subjects. Essentially, I don’t see it fair to be taught the basics, and then be tested on the impossible, but the amount of tests we have in each class have I see to be reasonable.
    3.) I like the question because I see myself asking it very frequently. I believe that standardized testing is a terrible way to see the potential of students. There is so much more than just testing, students could be bad test takers, or not manage test timing well, either way, their is way more than just tests. Many officials argue that standardized testing is the only way to find out if a student is fit to do a job and go to a good college, but students can’t show their talent in art, language, sports, photography or whatever you do through tests. The truth is, there should be more options and ideas introduced to help determine if a student is fit to attend a certain college.

  2. Jacob Seid

    In answer to question 1, I think that the pressure for a kid to do well starts with the parents, who most always want the best for their kid(s) and want them to want to work. The next level that plays into it, in my mind, is the teachers who are parents too because they want the best for their kids– even if their kids aren’t their biological kids. The government also wants to have the smartest kids around and colleges are willing to push the smart kids to even better places than they are so in turn, the student therefore puts more pressure on themselves to be the best they can be– no ifs ands or buts.
    In answer to number 2, I think that the amount of work given to students is fair because it is the student who signs up for the work. For example, I signed up to be in APUSH which meant I was taking on a bigger challenge than kids who were in regular history so therefore my work would be more. I had the option to do less but I didn’t take it. In cases like that, it’s fair, but when a teacher assigns homework just because a kid was bad, or he/she had a bad day or just wanted to fill the kids time the day before school gets out… kinda pushes the boundaries of fair. The only reason that teachers give out homework is so that the students can prepare for the tests which is fair and leads me to #3. I think that if properly prepared (which they should be), students can do well on standardized tests and therefore they are good. On the other hand, I think that if the student isn’t a test taker or for some reason performs better by doing something else, a standardized test is pointless because it can’t show a student’s full potential.
    In Answer to #4 I think that students, especially at a 7th and 8th grade level or middle school level should have less homework because the less time they spend rushing through an assignment just to get a good grade, the more time they can have to just be kids and to learn about others, as well, and most importantly themselves. The most important part of education, in my mind, is learning your strengths and weaknesses and if you can’t do that, any education other than that is pointless and worthless because nothing of true “value” can be taken out of it.
    #5 If I had to design my realistic school schedule…. it would be lunch all day

  3. Philip Johnson

    1. The pressure comes from a combo of all of these things except the teachersbecause the parents pressure the kids to get the best grades that they can. The government makes it so that if you don’t get good grades and go to a good college, you can’t get a high-paying job for the most part and that’s what all kids want, so this pressures them to stress themselves out. The universities make the standards so high to get in, in some cases, that the high school students to try to be perfect in school and that causes the students to then stress out.
    2. The amount of tests are fair because there usually aren’t so many that the kids can’t handle it but a lot of the time there is too much homework given. With kids already working in school they shouldn’t have to spend all of their time at home working too. Teachers should give light homework loads so that kids’ brains don’t overload with all the stuff they have to do.
    3. Standardized tests aren’t a good way to test students because some people don’t test well, or have bad days, but are still smart. One test shouldn’t be what determines how smart a person is because in most cases they don’t necessarily represent all of the knowledge that the kid actually has. A writing thing would represent how smart someone is because it helps you actually express your thoughts and knowledge.
    4. Students feel that a lot of the things that they learn won’t benefit them at all later in life. They feel that many classes are just space-fillers and won’t benefit them in the career that they choose to pursue. We should be able to identify (in high school) the field that we want to go into and take classes that will specifically help us with learning skills for that career. Though a couple classes, such as English, should be mandatory, learning certain subject, like history, won’t help many people with their future careers.

  4. Autumn Palmer

    I think the pressure comes from all of the above. It comes from the parents because not only does every parent want their children to do well, they also want them to be better than any other parent’s children. Though the second part may be unconsciously, every parent loves to brag about their kid. The pressure comes from the teachers because the teachers have pressure from the government. With new ideas about firing teachers because their students don’t test well, the teachers have to put the pressure on the students so that they don’t lose their job. The pressure comes from the universities because they make you believe that you have to be unbelievably smart in order to get into college at all. We also put pressure on ourselves because we feel that since people are putting pressure on us to do our best we should try to be our best for our own feel of accomplishment.

    I don’t think standardized tests are a good way to test students. Standardized tests are government tests that test for the majority of students, and not all of them. Therefore the students in the minority do not score well on these tests even though they might be really smart.

    If I could design one typical week at my high school, it would be different without being unrealistic. For example, at some point in the day there would be 15 minutes of free period. Here you could do homework, socialize with friends, or even go outside. It would just be a minor stress reliever to make the high school day easier. I would also dedicate 15 minutes of SSR (silent sustained reading). I feel that high school students are reading less and less of real books. With all the required reading of English and history classes, there is not enough time to read for pleasure. I would also make it so that a maximum of 45 minutes of homework per class. The school day would not start until 8:30 every day with an hour of time before for time to meet with teachers (x-block). The classes that would be required to take would be the same as the ones here as well as what information we would be required to know. The tests should not change, although I think there is a lot of stress on students nowadays, there still needs to be a challenge or nothing will be learned.

  5. Saul Levin

    1. I think the pressure begins with the social atmosphere. Parents want to be proud of their kids and they want their children so they originally pressure their kids to do well in school, saying that they will thank them later. Then, even if the parent decides the pressure is unnecessary, students pick up the torch. Students used to getting good grades feel good when they do well in school so pushed by their teachers, they lose sleep in an attempt to succeed. The teachers are pressured by colleges and the state governments who have expectations, tests and curriculums set in place. All in all, everyone contributes to the pressure. One could argue that it starts with states but they are able to continue raising the bar because people are meeting expectations. The never-ending circle is a tough nut to crack.
    2. The tests that students take in school are numerous and ridiculous. I personally have taken classes without tests and different forms of structure that I learned a lot. Tests are just another way for people to compare themselves which helps no one. Homework has also gone over the top. Teachers worried that they are falling behind occasionally try to make up for it by giving students homework. Less homework is an attainable goal if a class is taught right and something every teacher should strive for because another way students learn is through experience. Students need free time outside of school to find out what their passion is and do it.
    3. Standardized testing is an awful way to test students. It puts pressure on and could be considered a waste of time. Students have more value than something that can be tested. It doesn’t show the multiple sides to a student’s repertoire of ideas and knowledge. While Standardized testing can test students’ knowledge on a basic level it is close to the heart of the problem this movie is dealing with. Students are put under too much pressure and have too little time left over for the fun and alternative method of learning: experience.

  6. Fred Ayres

    1. In my own life, there is absolutely no pressure from either of my parents. In fact, there’s no pressure from anyone in my family. The sole person pushing me to do well in school is me. For some reason, I’ve got it set in my mind that not receiving all A’s and doing well on all tests is equivocal to going to hell out of choice. There’s no reward except for satisfaction of doing something pretty freaking awesome.
    I think it’s good that no one except for myself presses me to do well in school. I’ve heard of parents literally paying their children for A’s and B’s. I scoff at that! My God! Is that seriously the kind of world we live in? Children can’t be expected to do well in school without some kind of monetary reward?!
    Perhaps I am being hypocritical—whenever the report cards come flying in, I am always full of offers from my parents to take me out to eat or to go somewhere special. I very seldom accept. The reward from all of my hard work isn’t small and insignificant as a forgotten night out at an Italian restaurant. When I one day am a doctor or congressman, I will get my reward. Even more so of a reward is having children that won’t need a push from me to do well in school.
    2. The amount of homework is extremely low in the United States. It’s an outrage that some nights, we don’t even have any homework. If I dared say this in front of any of peers, I would instantly be ostracized and be thought of as a teacher’s pet. That is the future of this nation. Children aren’t willing to take harder classes and study every night instead of catching up on TV or checking Facebook mindlessly. If the homework was increased tenfold, the apathy would disappear overnight and test scores would also increase. More homework means more time to comprehend the material and make it stick in the minds of pupils. Yeah, there’s gonna be less time for fun, but God, that’s one of the best life lessons that can attained from high school. Life isn’t always going to be fun; there’s gonna be loads of times where you actually have to work in order to get ahead and stay ahead.
    3. The simply answer is that if there weren’t standardized tests, then what? These tests are where the truly gifted and intellectual shine. They stay ahead of the curve and take vital time out of their schedules in order to study and do well. Alas, there are some of us who are very smart and yet, cannot take tests very well. The only solution to that problem is to learn how to take tests. The entire system shouldn’t have to conform to a minority of students who have a very solvable problem. So long as there are standardized tests, those who truly deserve to be at the top of their class will be there.
    4. As already mentioned, students, for the most part, don’t give a damn about their education. That is the sad reality of the matter. Those who actually care about their education and would be willing to do anything to keep it are very few and are dwindling. This generation has really got their priorities messed up. We worship celebrities instead of scientists. We think rap is cool while math is lame. Sex is awesome while Spanish is deemed useless. Perhaps the worst part is that there’s nothing we can do to stop it. While there should be more work enforced in schools, it seems as though there would be more drop-outs and failing grades. While normal ninth graders should be learning college courses, they’re not. In 50 years from now, everything that was once reserved for college should be in high schools. Should. Alas, we’re on a race to nowhere, simply because most people don’t care where they’re going.
    5. The ideal high school I have in my mind isn’t realistic. It’s not even possible. Every pupil at this high school would want to learn and want to advance themselves. This would be a genuine desire, too. Instead of pressure from their parents or teachers or colleges, they would want to do well in school solely because they it is vital to their survival. In a typical classroom at this unrealistic high school, there would be college courses offered in every class room. There’d be no ‘normal’ or remedial courses. Everyone would either gather their wits and seize the day or fail to take hold of the challenge and fall down a slippery slope. Homework would be given every night and contain at least two hours of work. With this increase of homework, tests would naturally seem easier to students. That’s a problem. Tests would have to be made even harder, questioning students not only on their knowledge of the subject material, but why it is important and how it correlates to life in general. There’d also be no religion.

  7. Stephanie Dudek

    The pressure on students comes from a variety of places. Mostly I think it comes from parents and teachers. When you talk about college and teachers are always saying if you don’t do a, b, and c you won’t go to college, you won’t get a job, you won’t fall in love, you won’t ever get married, and you will die alone. And I think that scares people. Personally pressures comes more from myself to perform good, but I out the stress on myself because I want to do well in life. But doing well in school doesn’t always mean you will get a job and do well in life. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy later on doing something you love. But I also think a lot of the time pressure comes from things teachers or parents say that they don’t mean to be stressful. Like when a teacher wants you to do well in school so you have more options later in life. They are really only trying to help but it doesn’t always help.
    The amounts of homework we get in school really vary on the teacher and the subject. And I understand why in math we need to have homework every day but I just t don’t think that it had to be as much as we get. Ten to 15 problems a night are fine we don’t need to be doing 30-40 problems every day. Homework losses our attention after a half hour or so and when you have homework in all of you classes it adds up. Also another problem that results to a lot of homework each night is that we have 5 different teachers each trimester and every day. The other teachers don’t communicate so they don’t know if you have a lot of math or English and then you just get more homework.
    Standardized test are not a good or accurate ways o test what people are learning. Even though there are guidelines and requirements for what we learn each school and each teacher teach the material different and have slight variations of what is taught. When we prepare for standardized test we have learn basically a whole new subject: The Art of Filling in Bubbles in the most Advantageous way. We don’t only need to know the material on the test but how to decipher the questions to find the correct answer. And I really hate interpretation of readings or word questions. Everyone interprets things different we all have different connotations of words how can they possible expect us all to interpret a boring passage the same way.

  8. Kaylee Brown

    1. I find that for me personally, universities and myself put the most pressure on me. My parents hope that I do well but they believe in trying your best and if your best is a C or a D then what can you really do? Teachers, I’ve noticed, don’t really pressure us into doing well. If we do great, if not then it’s our loss. But getting into the school of your choice is where it really all starts. Getting into college is getting harder and harder every single year and the only way kids are ever going to be able to get in is if we work really hard and continue to push ourselves. Which leads me to say that I can only blame myself when it comes to pressure and stress. I push myself to do well in school sometimes harder than I should and sometimes it doesn’t work out the way I intended it to. But would I be putting this much pressure on me if it weren’t for getting into college, which seems almost impossible right now? Probably not. Honestly, this pressure has made me absolutely narrow in on the product of things and forget entirely about the process and that getting to the product is just as important. BPS has proudly conditioned me that way since at least 6th grade. And I think because of that I can say that I have not gone to bed excited for school the next morning in years. I have no interest at all because there is not a day that I walk out of school feeling good about myself. Even if I have done well, I never think it is well enough.

    2. I think the amount of homework is probably a little unfair. I believe that it is okay for every teacher to give you homework every night and thats really standard. But what is not okay is for every teacher to give massive amounts is ridiculous and so stressful because don’t they realize their class can’t be the number one priority all of the time.

    3. I do not think standardized tests are the best way to test the knowledge of a student. For one, they are totally rigged for middle class white kids. For example, my sister teaches for a group of inner city kids in New York and she said that most of them do not know what a kettle is. So, when a standardized test asks them how they would measure a kettle, how are they supposed to answer if they don’t even know what that object is? Another thing is that a teacher can teach you something that is not measurable such as life lesson. I think that the really valuable lessons my teachers have taught are not about battles, and grammar, and how to find the area of a circle but about bigger things such as learning who you are. And before I take away a lesson about some random definition, I’m going to remember how my teachers treated me and shaped me as a person. Another reason is because different people need different things to be successful, and a standardized test will not help you if you only need 20% of what is on there to get by, but you’re being judged on all of it. I will tell you that if I handed the ACT to an average/smart person they’d probably not get a totally awesome score. But they aren’t STUPID. They probably would know how to leave a tip, and how to pay bills. But do they NEED to know how to map out and irregularly shaped garden or find the shadow of a tree? Do they even want to on their spare time? Well, let’s just say I’LL never do that.

  9. Eli Sherman

    1. I think that a majority of the pressure comes from students, parents, and the universities. Kids who have overbearing parents learn to focus more on success than on learning. They see failure as bad and, while it is, they don’t see the advantages of “being human” because they don’t learn from their mistakes. Pressure comes from the students themselves in two ways. First, students who come from very successful families have more pressure to succeed. My father went to MIT for both undergrad and his PhD. My mom is a relatively esteemed violinist who went to a Big Ten university. Lastly, my brother got a 36 on his ACT, a 2390 on his SAT and is at the University of Michigan on a full ride scholarship. This puts pressure on me because I see the situation as “if I don’t get into x college or earn y salary, my family will shun me for the rest of my life.” The second way kids are creating the pressure is jealousy and competition among other kids. The way our society works, the perks are awarded to the kid who finishes first and comes out on top. As a result, when kids feel they aren’t up to par with the top of the top of their class they try harder (when they are often already trying their hardest) and become envious of their classmates. When the students can’t catch up with those that are simply more talented, they put more pressure on themselves because they don’t want to let themselves down by not achieving a degree of success that many normally don’t reach.
    2. I honestly can’t answer this question without being completely biased towards my current status as a student. As a student, I obviously feel that too much homework is given. I’d much rather be spending my evenings with friends and living life. But at the same time, I’m not complaining the way the interviewees in the movie did. Those interviewed blew the situation way out of proportion. The students claimed they were getting 6 hours of homework a night and that it was extremely difficult. I would like to offer a different perspective: maybe those interviewed were the absolute WORST case scenarios and the kids were in way over their heads. I, myself, am in all the available honors and ap classes that a kid my age can take at my school. The most homework I have ever had is about 3 hours…maybe…and it took that long because I had procrastinated so i had more homework in one day and I was on facebook or texting while doing my homework. Additionally, I’m at the top of my class while, by my standards and the standards of many others, I barely try at all.
    3. My stance on standardized testing depends on what counts as a standardized test. ACTs and SATs and the MME are a poor way of determining what kids have learned. High school classes teach different general topics and teachers shouldn’t have to tailor their lessons to these tests. APs on the other hand are a very good way of assessing students. This is because all of the kids in an AP class all across the country are learning virtually the same exact material, which is quite frequently very in depth. These tests tell a university that is analyzing a student’s profile exactly what a student has learned as well as what they’re good at. The APUSH test requires students to recall information as well as take a stance on what they have learned and quickly analyze new information given to them on the day of the test. This rigorous assessment tells colleges how good of a prospective student they are looking at.

  10. Rob Swor

    1: According to the movie, it seemed like pressure came from everywhere. Parents wanted their children to do well and forced them to do all of these things they thought might help. Teachers pressured their kids because they wanted to have a good reputation, and if their kids failed, they wouldn’t maintain that. The government, of course, has its standards that must be met. Colleges won’t accept you if you don’t do well in school, and students and their parents often freak out about doing well enough to get into the college of their dreams. Students don’t try to pressure each other academically much, but there is the pressure to do a sport and of course substance abuse.
    2: I think that the tests and amount of homework given is fair sometimes, but not fair others. If a teacher isn’t doing their job and is making their kids learn entirely through homework, then they’re generally a really bad teacher and they shouldn’t be giving so much homework, as that teaching style generally doesn’t work much. If a teacher IS teaching their material, though, a lot of homework isn’t necessarily bad, especially in honors and AP classes where you’re learning new stuff just about every day. Tests, however, seem to show up a fine number of times in most cases, although the material on them isn’t always fair to have.
    3: I think standardized tests are NOT a good way to test students. They put too much pressure on kids and freak and stress them out, and since there’s a chance it could make or break someone’s life, they’re not right. I think they might be okay if people weren’t taught in preparation for these tests, but kids aren’t taught so they do well in life anymore, they’re taught just to do well on their ACTs or SATs.
    4: I think that what we learn now is generally okay, but I think the massive emphasis on learning English is a little annoying, as I’ve learned the same grammatical terms about 6 times in my schooling career. I also think that the workload could be reduced, but it shouldn’t necessarily, as a lot of people just wouldn’t remember their material if they don’t have as much work as they do, although maybe it would be better if it wasn’t all required, because I think it would pick out the people who wanted to succeed and the people who didn’t.
    5: If I designed my own realistic high school experience, then in one week, there would probably be somewhere from 8-10 hours of homework in the entire week, the tests would be a moderate difficulty where you would need to study, but you wouldn’t have to spend all night studying, as you wouldn’t be responsible for extremely obscure things, like what the name of a scientific law was, or the date that a president was born. You would be required to take the four core classes, but there wouldn’t be as much of an emphasis on English, as it gets repetitive after you learn what a run-on sentence is for the 10th year in a row. You also wouldn’t be required to take such a wide range of pointless electives, like art classes or business classes.

  11. Elizabeth Benedetti

    1. The pressure I think comes from a combination of everyone. Parents and teachers lecture us on doing well and working as hard as we can, and universities set extremely high standards to get into them. Students also stress themselves out since if they don’t do well then they won’t get into a good college, and therefore won’t have a good life. Parents and teachers just want us to succeed so they just keep telling us to work harder and do better and take the hardest classes we can take so we will be more likely to get into a better college. Colleges and universities also set standards on GPAs, test scores, grades throughout high school, and the different extra-curricular activities students do. All of these standards and requirements result in a very stressful situation that keeps students really busy.

    2. The amount of homework and tests a student gets usually depends on what classes they have that trimester or semester. I’ve had trimesters where I have one page of homework a night and I’ve had trimesters where I’m up until two a.m. trying to get everything done. Another factor though is cell phones and the internet. I usually get distracted so when a homework assignment should take me only take me twenty minutes; it could take me an hour. Maybe if the schedules were evened out better homework and tests wouldn’t be given in such unfair amounts.

    3. Standardized tests aren’t really the best way to test students. Usually what happens is we learn what we have to and the second the test is over we forget what we learned, because we don’t really need that information anymore. Another thing is that standardized tests aren’t always fair. It’s the same test given to different schools across the state and country, but people from different areas might not always know the different situations that are given in the test depending on where they are from and what they are taught in school. Everyone is different especially when it comes to learning, and standardized tests just seem like a pointless thing when the only reason anyone wants/needs to take them is to see what college they can get into. After that most of that information is forgotten so there really is no point in taking standardized tests anymore.

  12. Mallory Moss

    1.I think a lot of the pressure comes from parents. Having two parents who went to college, I grew up knowing I will some day go to college just like my parents. My parents have stressed the importance of school ever since I was in elementary school. Also, I look up to my older brothers who are both in college right now. Seeing how successful they are going to be, I push myself more to become just as great as them. Furthermore, the majority of the pressure in my life is pressure that I put on myself. I have always been serious about school and if I don’t do well on a test or project, I become very tough on myself. I stay up very late at night doing homework and studying for tests because I believe if I don’t put in 100% effort all the time, I wont get good grades and get into a good college, therefore I wont get a good job. Sometimes when my parents tell me to try my best, my mind is set on that my best isn’t enough and I always have to work harder.
    2.In general, the tests and amount of homework given to students is fair. Some days there is more homework than others, but I mostly have homework everyday. Usually when students have core classes, homework and tests are expected to be given. When I sign up for honors or AP classes, I am aware that more assignments will be given and the tests might be more challenging. On the other hand, I also believe that homework is designed to practice what was taught in class that day and to prepare for the tests. If a teacher didn’t teach anything that day, it is unfair to give homework on something we haven’t learned.
    3.I don’t think that standardized tests are a good way to test students because there is so much more to being a smart, good student than to do well on standardized tests. Some students are very hard workers and if they study hard, they are able to do well on tests. Other students are naturally smart and don’t have to study as much to do well on tests. Every student is different and one standardized test shouldn’t determine what each student has learned and how they can apply that knowledge.

  13. Chase Turner

    1. Parents all over harp on their kids about their grades ITS CRAZY. When I went to DCDS I would see kids crying and being grounded if they got an A-. that’s an insane amount of pressure to put on a kid only in middle school! The government also try’s to get us to get better grades but they don’t know what its like to be a high school student in our day and age. The pressure that is put on these kids could cause health problems, to much stress, and suicide. Oh wait I mean IT DOES cause those problems

    2. I don’t think the amount of homework is the problem cause I don’t have that much HW I mean so nights I do but some nights I have none, but that might not be the case for all cause ive heard of some teachers giving insane amounts of HW that is just BS cause they are to lazy to give them real HW. The tests well it all depends the only tests I think that the ACT is a test that puts crazy amount of pressure on kids because its so important and colleges basically only care about it for the most part. Finals are also to intense some students cant comprehend all of the info or get to stressed the final should be worth less than 20% but hey I don’t make the rules.

    3. I would say yes they are a good way to test students on their overall knowledge of the subject because you cant just study or memorize a crazy amount. So overall yes great way to test kids,

    4. Terrible to be honest we need to learn more applicable stuff history is my favorite subject and the most important because history will always repeat it self so you can help do things different in the future, math is stupid for the most part I think it’s a waste of time plus I suck at it but if we could change our education maybe start school later things would be so muich better.

    5. School would be 4 days a week starting at 10 ending at 4 sports would be REQUIRED. Classes that everyone would have to take would be history gym English Spanish and philosophy. Homework would be a max combined of 30minutes tests every 2 weeks on that info no final 12 week semesters. That’s my dream idea of a school and its what we need to do to improve our educations

  14. Cameron Crawford-Mook

    1. I think the pressure the movie talked about isn’t really any one category of people’s fault; I think it’s more of a vicious cycle. I think the pressure may have begun with the universities being more selective with the students that got admitted, which put more pressure on parents to push their students. Then, because a lot of high achieving students are perfectionists, they begin to take the pressure their parents put on them and take it to another level where the only way to be a success is to have a 4.0. The teachers are responding to the parents’ demands for harder curriculums as well as state mandated benchmarks. As the students do better, the whole process becomes more and more competitive, feeding the universities to be more selective and fanning the flames on the whole thing again.
    3. I don’t think standardized tests are the best way to evaluate students, particularly in English and social studies, because it places too much pressure on merely finding what someone deemed to be the “correct” answer, and doesn’t allow for any creative reasoning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat staring at a standardized test, torn between two answers, because I could make excellent arguments for both of them. I think standardized testing would be an acceptable evaluation tool for very basic concepts or more objective subjects, such as math, where there is a definite right and wrong answer, but not for more subjective subjects. Standardized tests also lead to teachers teaching to the test and just teaching the necessary facts instead of finding creative ways to help the students actually learn.
    5. If I could design a High School, it would look a lot like a combination of Mr. Rutherford’s theatre classes (hey, I’m a theater geek. Don’t judge) and my middle school, which was really hands-on. I would try to find a way to use Mr. Rutherford’s assessment methods, because while he does give some tests, most of our “tests” are performances and other ways of applying what we’ve learned. For example, for a chemistry class, I would have students design experiments or use their knowledge to evaluate a real-life situation. At my middle school, our science classes had an integrated approach, which was really cool because you could learn without even feeling like you were learning. One of the projects we did was to monitor a stream near our school and send our test results to the government to help their watershed health evaluation. We did chemical testing, so we learned chemistry; we did biological testing, so we learned biology and we learned some about the physics of watersheds. I would try to make other classes as hands-on as possible as well.

  15. david bellefleur

    1. I think all of these consist to the pressures. The government is the least but it is kind of the driving force. They pressure the teachers to teach more and harder topics and the teachers pressure with more work. The parents are the most and the kids are second because nobody demands more than yourself. but parents can be crazy and get on your back about your grades 24/7. But the pressure that would cause a nervous breakdown is definately self-induced.
    2. I think the homework in the movie was a bit overkill. he students were talking about having 4-6 hours of homework every night. We go to a good school district and I take all honors classes and i can say that it will take you that long if you eat and lose concentration every five minutes. The amount of homework is fair but in some classes there is too much testing. Personally i think it should be all small quizes and the only test is the final.

    3. The only problem i have with standardized testing is that it is too easy. I dont do every well with regular test but i blow standardized out of the water. The kids in the movie disagreed sometimes but i think it is a good way sometimes. The one problem is that things like the ACT cover topics that the students have not all learned. Or things like the PLAN, covers topics from a couple years back, and in detail. Stardardtized testing is either too broad or too easy so i do like it, but it is not the best way to efficiently test the students.

  16. Michael Nona

    1. I think the most pressure for the average high school student comes from universities. Your entire life you are told “study hard so you can go to a good college” and that causes a lot of stress for anyone. Many people take classes they can’t handle and say it looks good on a college app but they spend all of their time working and none of it being a kid. Also, depending on the family your parents can cause a lot of distress. I’m grateful that my mother is relatively calm when it comes to school but even she can get a little ridiculous sometime. I think it is unfair that some parents scold their children for a B+ while some congratulate theirs for worse scores.
    2. I think that students often do receive too much much homework. Teachers often say “I didn’t give you any yesterday s o I can give you extra today” which is stupid. They don’t realize we have other classes with other homework. We don’t do our English homework and then we’re done, after that we have math or history or science.
    3. I think standardized tests aren’t necessarily a good way to test children but it is the only effective way we have. Because of scan trons teachers can correct massive amounts of test with little effort. I think that a good way to make standardized tests more effective is to offer another way to take them because many people find scan tron tests intimidating and that sometime drops their score significantly.

  17. Jenny Richter

    1. Where the pressure comes from is definitely a combination, mainly from parents, universities, and students. If you don’t pass on an assignment, no matter how few points it’s worth, your parents will be instantly there saying “Why didn’t you pass this? Did you not understand the material? Do you need help?” The true responses of “I had an off day,” or “The test was on things we haven’t learned much about,” are often brushed away because so many use them as excuses. And no kid wants to ask for help, especially when they don’t actually need. Floundering occasionally can be a good thing. It teaches self-reliance and allows you to figure out a system on your own. Students will often push themselves too hard though, because they want to be able to get into a good university which means you have to participate in as many extracurriculars as possible, do community service and still get and A in every class. No time is allotted for sleep or a social life. So, kids will dodge the system by taking a lot of easy blow-off classes and not putting as little effort into their schoolwork as they can. This allows them to have a social life and still look impressive on a college application.
    2. Sometimes tests and homework seems fair and sometimes it seems like a massive overload. I feel like this would be more balanced if homework was actually useful in preparing for tests. In math and science classes you will often be assigned problems that give you practice in the concepts you need to know for the tests. This is a lot of work, yes, but at least then you will be prepared for the test and other tests in the future. In English class you write some essays and analyze some stories in class which does work for the nature of the class and the kinds of things that you are tested on, but very little homework is actually assigned. I find that there the largest discrepancies appear between what you were taught and what the questions on the test are. Students need to be taught to think for themselves when it comes to English, instead of just accepting the analysis’s the teacher gives you. In history classes, there seems to be a lot of reading homework. We read things, but then we never really go over it much as a class. Then the test comes, and even though you’ve studied and read the section, the questions look entirely foreign and you end up guessing. Homework in history class needs to increase so that we can be prepared for the tests because there are so many of them.
    3. Standardized tests aren’t the best way to test students, but we haven’t been able to come up with a more effective or efficient system yet. Every school is different and every teacher in that school is different, so every student gets and entirely different school experience. If there were are more standard way of teaching, then standardized tests would be perfect, but each teacher has a different system and considers different things more important to learn than others. And often, because of standardized tests, teachers will be preparing the kids to do well on the tests, but not to do well in life or in college. Also with standardized tests, kids who are naturally smart will do quite well, whereas those who will study hard for a test to get their good grades may not do as well on standardized tests because there is no way to study for them. And with honors and AP kids taking the same tests as everyone else, they may know more or be more advanced simply because they have a better learning environment (ex: less disruptive class, tougher teachers, more homework).

  18. Eleanor Chalifoux

    1. I feel that the pressure comes from many sources. The movie accurately portrayed this too. Every parent wants their kid to be successful, get great grades so they can go to a great school and get a job, make good money and that way they will be happy. Not every child fits that mold of going through a standard high school education and getting into Harvard. Everyone learns at a different rate and that’s when the teachers must step in and realize that and maybe start to change things up and teach the kids so they will learn and maybe actually enjoy what they are learning. The government and colleges scare us with standardized testing. All this leads to kids putting pressure on themselves and we all know we are our own biggest critics.
    3. Standardized testing has become a basis for whether a kid is smart or not and I don’t think kids should be judged solely on a test score. I know it is very important and a good indicator for colleges but I feel like it has become way too much pressure and used for a greater portion of one’s recruiting process that it should.
    5. We can pretty much assume that every high school kid has other things to do outside of school. Sports, music, art, community service you name it. School isn’t life and it shouldn’t be. I understand school should trump those things and many of my classmates agree. It’s hard to enjoy school though when homework and tests make us hate it. I think we get a good combination of elective and required classes. An ideal week be a fair amount of homework and tests and allow kids to get their extracurricular done and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Tests should be doable and based on what is gone over in class.

  19. Alex Cooper

    1. I think that the pressure that students have that relates with school is a combination of all these factors. By parents i think it is because the parents want the best for their kids and they set such a high standard of what they want their kid’s grades to be. By teachers, i think it is because by how teachers teach, i think that most teachers think that their teaching is how the students are able to learn to get an A, and the teachers get dissapointed in their students when they don’t understand all of the topics and can’t finish all of the homework. By the government, they are the ones that are pushing the public school teachers to teach a whole bunch of information in the curriculum, even though they don’t pressure the students directly. Universities pressure students because they make it seem like they only accept perfect all A students and that just increases the stress that is put onto students. And finally, i think that students have the most pressure on themselves because we see all of the competition to get good grades and get into a good college and have success in our lives.
    2. I think that the amount of tests and homework overall given to students are fair, but there are some nights that are just an overload. At times i don’t feel that teachers acknowledge that students are involved in many different extracurricular activities, and have other honors classes that have homework in, but overall I think that the homework load is pretty good, but for some students it is very hard to concentrate.
    3. No, I don’t think that standerdized tests are a good way to test students. Most standerdized tests are a review over all of the stuff that you learned that cover that topic, and with students learning new topics everyday it is hard to comprehend and remember every single thing covering a topic. Also, if there are students that are more english based, and the english questions on standerized tests usually don’t have one RIGHT answer, sometimes there are two options that could be the right answer, but if there are math and science questions, there is only one right answer.

  20. Calvin Greer

    1. For me, and I’m sure most kids, the biggest source of pressure to do well comes from the parents. They expect you to do well in all of your classes and receive exemplary grades, so when you’re struggling in a class, the biggest concern is “what will my parents say if I don’t get this grade up?” As grades become more and more important the concerns become even greater. “What if I don’t get into a great college?”, or ever worse, “The college they want?” Not meeting up to your parents’ expectations is a tough thing to deal with (and especially hard to admit to them), and I think that’s the biggest external pressure on grades.

    2. I think that in most cases, teachers are pretty fair about tests and the amount of homework they dish out, but on occasion it gets over the top. I think any assignment that’s going to take a student over 30-45 minutes to complete is a bit too much because you have to realize that we do have 4 other classes, and tons of other things outside of school. Tests I believe are fair, but the one thing I think is necessary is that for every test the teacher should give out a study guide, that at the very least has the main points on the test, so that students aren’t recklessly scanning over material but actually studying what they need to know.

    3. Standardized tests may be tough for many, but I do think it’s a good way to test students and pretty much the only fair way for the government to assess students. Some schools are harder than others, even some teachers are harder than others to get a good grade in their class, so grades aren’t always a fair assessment. However, giving every kid the same test with the same difficulty really does fairly measure intelligence. Some kids may be bad test takers, but I think it makes up for it that you can have many more than just 1 opportunity to take the test, so I think it’s fair.

  21. Molly Sovran

    3. I truly don’t feel that standardized tests are a good way to test students because like me, I am a horrible test taker. I have good grades with homework because I work hard, but when it comes to a test, I freak out and I do bad. I am so nervous for the ACT because I already know that I am not going to do well, and it is frustrating because I work my butt off in school, and then it wont make a difference because I will have a really bad ACT score. This happened to my sister. She has had a 4.0 all her high school career, and because she got a 24 on the ACT, she didn’t get into her dream college. The college she had been working for to get it, Michigan. My mom was really upset, and she emailed the president that Michigan and they flat out said her ACT score was low, and she didn’t take enough honors classes. But they failed to see all her extra circular activities, and it’s tough to balance all that and take 50 billion AP and honors courses. I don’t think these tests should be one of the deciding factors to get into college because you could just be having a bad day, or your not good at taking test, or like me you have A.D.D. and its tough to sit in a room, and take a test for 3 hours without getting distracted.

    2. This is a tough question, because every teacher is different. When you have teachers who never give you homework, and never quiz you, then it may seem great and amazing. But you never learn anything, and your wasting your time. On the other hand, when you have insanely crazy hard teachers who are piling 3 hours of homework each night, with 2 tests/quizzes every week, you also don’t learn anything because you cram it all into your brain and then forget about it. Or, you start to make excuses for yourself, and then you get into a bad habit. I think tests are fair. When teachers make them hard, is what I don’t understand. We know the material, but sometimes making it impossible just makes us seem stupid, when we studied so hard and was prepared for a normal test, not an impossible one. Piling on homework is a definite lose lose situation. The kids hate the teachers, and become stressed, and the teachers have a lot to grade, taking precious time out of their lives. I feel like there needs to be a happy medium, but every teacher is different and that’s when it gets tough.

    1. I feel like the true pressure behind all of the stress is a combination of parents, teachers, universities, and yourself. With parents, they are always expecting you to be the best, and to do the best, and nothing less. With teachers, they want to be successful, and they want you to excel in school, so they try to be hard to prepare you for your future. With the universities, they are constantly making it harder and harder to get into, and are giving so many more requirements to get into that college to even have a slight chance of getting in. Not only that, but you need to have a perfect GPA and a great ACT to be seem as a possible student there, and that’s where its down to the student, where the stress is as well. Someone can take stress, and turn it in to something positive, or just ignore it. But people like me, I can’t handle stress, and stress makes me more stressed, which makes me more stressed etc. With all of these requirements to graduate, to have your parents happy, to please your teachers, and to get in to the college of your dreams, it finally comes down to the student, who can make the decision to turn that stress and make a positive, or take it and add more stress on more stress.

  22. Declan G.

    1.Where does this pressure come from: parents, teachers, the government, the universities or the students themselves? Combination?
    The pressure comes from parents and universities. Good parents push thier kids to be the best to be so that they can have a good job and successfull life. My opinion is this isn’t wrong for parents to do. If parents have reasonable expectations and just apply a little bit pressure to get good grades then everything should been fine in terms of stress. The real pressure comes from universities that have their expectations to high. All of our lives we have been told that a C grade is average and all of a suddon that isn’t true. If you have straight C’s your high school career you are going to community collage. This applies trumendous pressure because your not trying to learn, you are trying to memorize just so you can get good test scores because you don’t have enough time to study properly.
    2. Are the tests and amount of homework given to students fair, or is it an overload?
    I’d say everything is fair except for finals. Finals are dumb and I hate them very much. The point of finals is to prepare us for collage, but things are diffrent in finals. In collage you do know homework and study for Finals pretty much the whole time. But with high school finals we get homework until the last week and barely get any time to study for finals. So we should either not have finals, have homework and test, or completely get rit of homework and have tests and finals.

    3. Are standardized tests a good way to test students?
    Yes they are. I feel that standardized test are easier because they give you the awnser in the multiple choice. It would be harder not to have multiple and awnser each question on your own comprehension. People say they are bad test takers, but Daniel Tosh says no you just dumb.

  23. Cierra McPherson

    1. I feel this pressure comes from all parents, teachers, the government, the universities and the students themselves. I feel governments set pressure when they set up standardized test in general both being required and not required. Universities contribute little pressure I feel because they only set standards for what students they need or look for, I feel that students choose how they want to apply themselves for their universities. If that makes any sense. Parents put pressure on their children, and although I’m sure they put pressure because they are only looking for their child’s best interest but sometimes it can be over bearing and very I guess can have a negative impact on students. Teachers I feel puts pressure on the minimum way I guess. I think they can really only prepare students and the rest is only up to students. Student’s I feel have the ability to maintain their pressure internally. However pressure can happen when you have other factors interfering and constantly adding pressure.
    2. I feel the tests and amount of homework given to students are somewhat fair. It can be overload sometimes because students now do after school, and other activities outside of school, which can be an overload. I feel though that this overloading that does take place it come from can be a positive thing. It can prepare students as far as having good time management skills and things that would prepare people for the future in the “real world”.
    3. NO!!!! Standardized test does not show all the capabilities of students. It only shows pretty much book smart. Not really showing any problem solving skills or things they may have to apply in the real world. Also all students come from different backgrounds of education. Also tests can very bias as well.

  24. Devan Moosherr

    1. I think that the pressure that students have comes from everywhere. For as long as I can remember my parents always pressured me to get good grades, even to the point of huge fights every night of the week. I feel pressure from the teachers due to the excessive amount of homework that they can give out not even thinking about all of the extra-curricular activities that we have going on.
    2. I honestly think that the amount of homework teachers give is an overload. I need some free time, and when I spend all my time at a sporting event or doing homework it really starts to wear on me. The teachers really need to start to become more aware of their students needs.
    3. Standardized tests are good for students in a way because it compares the abilities of all students together. But students shouldn’t be judged by their test taking abilities. They could have many other abilities and one test could mess everything up for them. Many students could be having a bad day on the day of the test or have something else wrong that could mess them up.


    1. I think the majority of the pressure comes from parents and students themselves. Government says what they have to learn, and colleges and teachers each give their own expectations. The government is really controlling the teachers, so they don’t have direct pressure on the kids. Colleges have their expectations, but some schools have lower expectations and there is really a place for everyone. While some teachers are really encouraging and really want you to do well, others couldn’t care less, but none really put on the pressure. Parents on the other hand… well they always have something to say. Most parents have high hopes for kids, and sometimes those hopes are a little outrageous. Personally, I think parents want for their kid what they didn’t have themselves and get way to into trying to make their kid a better version of themselves. Then, there’s the students who put the pressure on themselves and have to live up to their own ridiculous standards. Think of a balloon: If there’s too much pressure on the outside, it deflates and becomes lifeless, just like when parents push kids too hard, they get all worn out and eventually stop trying because they can’t put up with it anymore. If there’s too much pressure on the inside of a balloon, it pops. So if a student puts the pressure on them self, or never stops trying to please people, they’ll explode. (Oooooh yeah, I just tied in the chemistry. Creds to Mrs.Tindall on that knowledge)
    2. I think homework is fair when it doesn’t take more than a half hour per class and is something pertaining to information you actually have to know that was taught to you, so you can practice working with the information and learn it better. For me, when homework starts taking more than 30 minutes, I can’t focus and check out a little bit, having to take a lot of breaks. The shorter homework keeps my focus better and I can put my full attention to it and learn it. After 30 minutes, stuff starts getting excessive and useless. Oh and just reading is really hard for me, because I need to know what to specifically look for in the text or I can barely remember anything. I’m just a horrible reader, always have been. I like reading smaller sections at a time, already knowing what I’m supposed to be gaining from the selection. As for tests, they’re fair if the material was presented to you. I don’t think it’s fair to give a test on something that hasn’t been discussed/used in class. Pop quizzes on short sections of reading are fine as long as there is a time where you could clear up anything confusing beforehand, and pop quizzes on things you’ve recently learned are fine. Tests on things you’ve never touched on/very briefly touched on are just ridiculous. I don’t see a purpose.
    5. If I could design my high school experience, it would be pretty different. Freshman and sophomore year would have the basic history, English, math, and sciences, with advanced options, but junior and senior year you would be allowed to take a lot more of what you wanted. Colleges make it so you need to have 4 years of basically everything, but that’s pointless if you’re never going to use that in your career. Once you have basic knowledge of everything, the extras should be focused on what you want to know. No one is going to learn and remember everything, so let the kids choose what they want to know, and they’ll retain the information a lot better. Tests would be on stuff you learned in class, and class would be spent preparing you for tests and using the information to help you learn and remember it. Homework would be thought provoking, but shorter. II also think kids should be able to choose their teachers. Kids know how they learn and who they learn from, so if there is a specific teacher they don’t learn from well, they shouldn’t have to take their class. f it really was this way, I think kids would be way more interested in school and actually learn a lot more instead of cramming for a test and forgetting it.

  26. Samuel Kepes

    1.I think a lot of the pressure comes from the teachers/ schools. Starting at a young age, atleast for me, I was told not doing home work is a bad thing. So whenever I didn’t do home work I would feel bad about it. But that is just home work. I think a lot of the pressure comes from the government. With all this standardized testing and trying to compare us to other countries, it has gotten out of hand.

    2.As a student of course I am going to say the amount of homework is to much. But I truly belive that. In classes that I get, on average 30 minutes to an hour of homework in, I get the same, and sometimes worse a grade as a class that I only have to do a small amount of homework, or large assignments are few and far between.

    3.I think standardized testing is just awful. There is no reason to do it at all. The fact that the college you get into can be based off of one test is just crazy. I just don’t understand how a kid can go all the way through high school, but the results of one test can determine the college they go to.

  27. Katie Donnellon

    1. I think that the pressure comes from a combination of people. I think that it comes from the parents wanting to push their kids so that they can have everything they never did, or everything they were lucky enough to get. It comes from the teachers with high expectations and a lot of tests and homework that they give. It comes from the government when they give the reports saying that as a country were falling behind places like China and Japan. I think that it comes from the Universities because they have higher and higher expectations each year. And I think that it comes from the students themselves not wanting to disappoint anybody and not wanting to feel inferior to their peers.
    2. I think that amount of homework is pretty fair. Students know going into a class what the workload is like and if they don’t they have a pretty fair idea. It is the student’s responsibility to know how much they can handle, or how much they are willing to do. Also I think that homework is what helps students to do well in school. Without home work that students get credit for there is no driving force to get it done every night and more students would procrastinate learning the material and studying without it.
    3. I think standardized test are fair. Having everyone answer the same questions is an easy way to measure how much each kid knows and how they measure up in terms of their peers. Without standardized tests it would be hard to tell who was rising above the crowd and who wasn’t. Sometimes kids can get good grades in classes and have high GPA’s but not really know the material, but standardized tests show who really knows what.

  28. Sarah Szekely

    1) I think the main source is from the universities. They set their standards of admission and learning so high that teachers, parents, and students freak out over how they are going to possibly get in. I know my mom is always worrying about how I’m going to get into the college I want to, which causes her to put an enormous pressure on me. So really I think it all leads back to the universities.
    2) I think so yes. While I think homework is a good idea to test our knowledge, sometimes it’s too much and we end up killing ourselves over it while trying to get good grades, succeed in our extra-curricular activities and somehow still manage to be a kid like we are suppose to. It’s impossible. The tests are a bit different. They are not too often unless the class is an AP and studying is worse than the homework because it is added TO the homework, adding to our stress.
    3) No. I completely disagree with standardized tests. Yes it tests our knowledge in a way but does it really measure how much we absorbed or does it test on how much stuff we shoved into our brains and will leave our minds not a moment after the test? Or how a good test taker you are? It’s different for everyone and I just don’t think it really works. Plus, sometimes I think teachers are just teaching us in order to take tests, not to have us actually learn something.

  29. Denny Walsh

    1. I think that most of this pressure, at least for me, comes from myself. My parents may pressure me a little bit, but that is only because I know that they are proud of me when I do well. They don’t punish me for doing poorly. I don’t feel much pressure from anyone else but I think that this might vary from person to person. I am sure that there are a lot of people who receive a lot of pressure from their parents but I am fortunate enough to say that that isn’t the case with me.
    2. I think that the amount of tests and homework that are given to students is entirely fair, because in the end it is up to the student to decide whether or not they are going to try so its just another way to test to see who is really willing to go the extra mile to be successful.
    3. I think that as long as students are allowed to retake them, standardized tests are an excellent way to test students because it allows them to be compared to other students all around the country and enables colleges to look and see who is the most qualified. It might be a lot of pressure pinned on the success of one test, but there is no better way to test the performance of students because every school grades differently.
    4. I think that school in this day and age should be more geared towards the individual. Students should at some point before their second or so year in college be able to choose what they learn and what they don’t. By the time they are in high school most students know which subjects they will not be pursuing as a part of a career so it seems stupid that they should have to continue to learn it after the point where it will no longer be of any practical use for them. As far as how much students should be taught I think that they should be taught as much as they, as and individual, are willing to learn.
    5. http://www.khanacademy.org/
    I think that everyone should be taught using the khan academy because it is genius and it allows everyone to move at their own pace. I would like it if we were no longer required to take an art elective. I would hope to get rid of many of the other requirements that seem to just fill up space and take away time for actual student choices. An example would be the speech and language requirements should be gotten rid of. I think that it is necessary to maintain a lot of homework and a lot of tests so that it is possible to determine who the people who are willing to try the hardest are. A school system in which nobody tries and everyone gets A’s doesn’t help anyone.

  30. Erick Dagenais

    1. The pressure to do well at school comes from many different factors, and this varies from person to person. For me personally, most of the pressure comes from me and my parents and from universities to a lesser extent. I want to do well so that I can get into a good college and be successful later in life. My parents want me to do well at school because they want me to have a bright future, and they want to be proud of me. The universities are now become more competitive than ever, and grades and exams such as the ACT are becoming more important.

    2. I believe that the tests and homework given is appropriate in some classes, but not others. Some classes such as AP classes have so much material to cover that if teachers didn’t give homework, would have to extend classes many extra weeks to cover those topics. Tests make sure that the students have actually learned the material. However, in other classes that are designed to not cover as much material the homework shouldn’t be excessive, yet it sometimes is. This is when it becomes an overload. If the teachers are falling behind or waste time in class and solve the problem by assigning what they didn’t get to for homework, then it’s a problem. Most students learn better at school, where they are monitored by teachers. Outside of class who knows if the students are plagiarizing or if they’re getting the answers from a fellow classmate.

    3. I think that standardized tests is a useful way to test just a students’ knowledge and logic, but the results should not be the sole factor in deciding a student’s value. Standardized tests work well because everyone takes the same test or nearly the same test, so it is easy to compare students. However there is much more to a student: what they do outside of school, what sports they play, community service, etc.

  31. Emily Kakos

    1. This question is really broad. I think the pressure to succeed and/or be successful comes from everywhere. Parents of course want their kids to do well/exceptionally well in everything they try so they are constantly asking if homework is completed or if he or she has studied for the upcoming test. I think it’s why systems like powerschool were made, so parents could check up on their kids, which in turn puts more pressure on kids to meet parent’s expectations because they know that the parents are always watching. Teachers sort of have ulterior motives as well, because if kids don’t do well, it reflects on their teaching style. University standards have done nothing but go up during the last decade and kids feel the pressure to score certain things on ACT, SAT, and other standardized tests. For me, I can’t do work unless there is the pressure hovering over my head. Without my parent’s motivation to get into a top school, or to score high on the ACT, I wouldn’t do anything. I think it’s great that my dad always put academics first for me and my siblings because he instilled in us a good work ethic. I feel like if you know your priorities, you can still have time for play once the work is done. Without pressure, there would be no motivation to be the best, and everyone would just be mediocre.
    2. Well this really all depends on the classes. I feel like in math, science, English, and history, you should have homework consistently. Basically every night because those core classes need more concentration and you need to learn those better. The only way to learn is to practice. Sure some kids complain about so much homework, but without it, they wouldn’t be prepared for the tests.
    3. I feel like standardized tests are pretty normal and easy-ish. Really it’s just everything you’re supposed to know up to that point in your whole career at school so I feel you should be responsible for that specific knowledge. Standardized tests are a good way to see if the students are actually learning and the teachers are actually teaching!

  32. Andrew Hausman

    1. The pressure on students most definitely comes from many sources. The parents, teachers, government and students themselves are all to blame. Parents expect their kids to perform well in school, for reasons such as their own academic failures or their desire to have successful children. Teachers want students to learn the material from their subject and pressure students into doing sometimes unfair amounts of homework to insure this. The government urges the importance of American students catching up to those from foreign nations, and issues difficult standardized tests that may not accurately demonstrate how much a student has learned (detailed below). Most of all, though, students put pressure on themselves. They do not want to disappoint others or themselves, and although it doesn’t make sense, put pressure on themselves to meet the goals set for them by others. Students want to get good grades so that they can go to a good university and get a job and be successful.
    2. It is not so much a question of how much homework is fair, but what homework is fair. It is worthless that teachers give students “busy work” and require them to do it, even if they do not gain anything from it. As long as teachers assign useful homework and it still remains a reasonable amount, it is acceptable.
    3. In my opinion, standardized tests are not an extremely effective way to accurately measure students’ learning, but are the best method. Standardized tests are over a wide variety of subjects, and therefore cannot cover them all. It is just a random selection of topics that are covered. In addition, not all areas are covered, including history. It is also unfair that one single test can be expected to properly serve as a gauge of what the student learned. Some students might simply be poor test takers and their test results might not match how they much they actually learned. From my own experience, I have been rushed by the time limit on standardized tests and I felt that I did not perform to my full potential. Also, the back to back succession of standardized tests takes a toll on students. I felt alert and ready for the beginning of the test, but by the second half, my brain was shot. The results showed this, as I did much better on the subjects in the first half than the second. A 20 minute break is simply not enough time to recover. However, standardized tests insure that students receive equally difficult assessments and therefore they can be more readily compared to each other.

  33. Courtney Stewart

    1.I think that the pressure comes from the universities and also the media. I feel that everywhere you turn you hear about those who have been successes and those who have failed. The people who succeed go to colleges and receive good grades. Those who are the wealthiest go to the BEST schools and receive any better grades. When we are in High School we are told that the best colleges only accept the students who are the best and strongest in their class. Which put pressure on the kids to take the hardest classes and get the best grades in them.

    2.I feel that there is an overload especially in the honor’s classes. I fell that it would be nice if the teachers realized that the students are already stacked up to their necks in homework and test from other classes. There is not enough hours in the day to deal with the tests and homework. Plus on top of all of the work we are expected to engage in extracurricular sports and activities.

    3.I think that standardized tests are a good way to test students, but I also think that the teachers should take more time to prepare us for them. They say that they are teaching us things that are on the ACT and SAT but we never get the chance to actually get the standardize testing experience in the classroom. I think it would be beneficial if the teachers would put ACT/SAT questions on certain tests.

    5.For me a typical week would have the same amount of learning but with less tests and quiz’s, I actually think it could be nice if we would have some more pop quiz’s before a test but they wouldn’t actually count for a grade. This way we would be able to learn from our mistakes and learn from them and enhance our test grades. I think the test should have three different types of questions: medium challenge questions, easy questions and hard questions. This way are tests grades would increase but we would still be tested on the material in a fair way.

  34. Katia Lev

    1. I think this pressure comes from mostly students and parents. A friend of mine goes to International Academy and she told me that she was afraid to tell her friends her SAT score because it wasn’t over a 32, and being anywhere below a 30 pretty much automatically ranked you as “stupid”. Kids put insane pressure on their friends without even realizing it, in the jokes we tell or the comparisons of test grades. I’m sure for many students it’s a combination as well, pressure coming from parents to do well because then it’s harder in the future, or pressure from colleges, when they start sending emails as early as sophomore year and all you can think about for the next 2 years are getting into the college of your choice.

    2. I don’t think its a question of homework overload or underload, I think the quality or the way we do the homework is what’s lacking. I am guilty myself of rushing to do all my homework during lunch or passing time or my first hour class, and as a result get pretty ridiculously stressed out (then I go and relax at home and don’t do my homework and the cycle starts all over again the next morning, though) I think many students put this on themselves, because I know my homework load is not that bad and from what I hear, many of my friends don’t have it that bad either. I don’t think we should have any more, although that’s not to say we should have any less.

    5. One thing in my school would not have is “required electives”. I think this is an extremely silly concept. I am taking classes like business foundations when I don’t have enough room in my schedule to take a class like Newspaper. This may not seem weird, until I stop to think that I want to do something with journalism as a career, and absolutely nothing to do with business. I have no room to take the class that I want for my future but I have to take classes that are absolutely useless to me.

  35. Patrice bell

    Ink the pressure is a combination of parents, teachers, the government, colleges and ourselves. In today’s world, it is near impossible to get a job that pays well without having a degree in something. And to get a degree, you have to go to college. Standards for getting into college are steadily rising. And to get into college, you have to graduate from high school with reasonable grades. And graduating high school means passing your classes (in which you have to balance multiple subjects) and high standardized test scores. So in addition to all of this outside pressure, no teen wants to look incompetent. So we put even more pressure on ourselves, and we push ourselves way past the limit by also doing a billion extracurricular activities.
    I definitely think that the amount of work students get is a bit of an overload. It’s already a lot to have to study for five different classes on the same naught, but to have homework in all five classes is too much. I think the amount each teacher gives individually is reasonable, but when you have five times that amount, it can be a bit stressful if every single thing is due the next day, not to mention, studying for tests, and working on projects.
    No, I don’t think that standardized tests are a good way to test students. I don’t think they are because of each students individual needs. Some people are bad test takers. Some people are slow test takers. Some people simply can’t manage time. I think there are so many more ways to see a students potential than a standardized test. I also think that teachers shouldn’t spend ALL of their time teaching us standardized material. They should be preparing us for how to enter professional America and how to run our lives, not how to take a test.

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