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A Descent into Ignorance

By , Park Ridge, IL
Knowledge is the greatest gift one can give. It is thus unjust that the youth of America are deprived the tools of understanding. Those individuals entrusted with their education simply do not teach students to appreciate the wonders of the world that are revealed through intellectual pursuits. The result is a deplorable situation in which students lack true curiosity.

Indeed, the most troubling instance of this neglect occurs in the educational system itself. Public schools, for instance, design their curriculums according to a set of criteria named the Common Core State Standards. Quite simply, these principles account for the appalling intellectual character of American students. Not one of the Standards speaks of teachers pushing students to exceed mere “college readiness.” Not once does a Standard explicitly state that teachers have a responsibility to exhort their students to pursue further studies outside of class work. To the contrary, there is only an implicit mandate for teachers to train their students to simply meet the requirements of the Standards. Of course, students suffer as a result of this flagrantly minimalist approach. They are not pushed to expand their understanding from the basic foundations schooling provides. They are left listless, devoid of any true motivation to attain greater wisdom.
As a high school student, I face this deplorable situation daily. I watch teachers disregard students’ questions on the premise that “[that] won’t be on the test; don’t worry about it.” I have met students who ignorantly believe that “assess” is a dirty word. I cringe as sophomores ask how many moons Earth has. This perpetuation of ignorance must end. Students must come to cherish the gift of knowledge once again. More importantly, their teachers must learn to give that gift, to strive above the standard and to cultivate the curiosity of their students.





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