Students performing poorly in schools and on standardized tests seem to be a popular topic today in the media. Unfortunately, these discussions are often limited to complaints rather than to a logical forum for a constructive solution. As a teenager, the secret to mandating better grades is quite obvious: link driving privileges with attaining good grades.
High school students would need to attain a certain grade-point average to receive a driver's license. In addition, a fixed GPA would be maintained to keep the license. If the GPA falls below this guideline for two marking periods, then the student would lose the license until grades improved. For the first year after getting a license, if a student had an accident or got a ticket for a major moving violation, speeding, drinking and driving, the student would lose the license for six months. To regain it, the student would need to attend drivers ed again.
If a driver's license depends on good grades, students would have another motivation for doing well in the classroom. All high school students want to be able to drive because it means freedom. If high school students have to do well in school to be eligible for receive a license, then most would get good grades. This would mean that our nation's teenagers would become better students. Perhaps SATs and other standardized test scores would also rise.
Some students would not be able to reach the GPA. If they had a proven disability, then there would have a different average to attain, and keep. If a student is not able to reach the average and does not have disability, he or she will have to demonstrate hard work. The student would have the principal write a letter to the Department of Motor Vehicles stating that the student is keeping up with the assigned work to the best of his or her ability.
Restricting a driver's license to those students who do well in school is a great idea. Not only would it motivate kids to work hard in school, but also it would have a positive effect on our society. Smarter kids with driver's licenses could mean that wiser driving decisions would be made. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.