Sherry’s essay discusses the public education system and its inability to provide students with the ability to perform basic life skills like reading and writing. Sherry brings to light the idea of actually flunking students rather than it just being a distant and avoidable threat. Many students graduate with below average literacy skills which impede their hunt for work after high school. I agree with Sherry in the aspect of failing students. I believe whole heartedly in giving an F to those who deserve it.
Sherry taught an adult literacy class and she commented on the fact that these adults, who earned a high school diploma, still couldn’t read. She had a lot to on the matter of how the public education system had treated them. The adults in the class regretted their depreciation of their studies. They suggested a different approach to their education in which they had gotten held back, so that they could spend the time in class to learn literacy skills.
I agree with the students who, in retrospect, see they should’ve been held back. Failing an entire grade or even just a test could help these people rather than just passing them on and hoping the next teacher can help them.
Sherry also wants the parents’ involvement in the students’ academic career to be present. Parents nowadays will not back the teachers up when their child is threatened with a failing grade. She suggests a bigger involvement from the parents. She asks for their aid in helping the student to learn.
The only issue I see with this proposal is that sometimes the parents aren’t emotionally, physically, or mentally available to help the student in their studies and can’t be relied on to have their child’s best interest in mind. Self motivation is skill that I don’t think children in the public school system develop. Being able to motivate yourself is something you will never do without. Whether you’re pursuing a higher education or just looking for a job being able to motivate yourself is instrumental to your success. You’ve seen applications; you need motivation the size of a bulldozer to fill out application after application for jobs and colleges.
This goes hand in hand with Sherry’s next claim: that the stance of their home life has little effect on their ability to learn. She brings up the point that other people who have to deal with a lot at home still learned to read and write. While this is true I think having an unsatisfactory home life still has something to say about your ability and acceptance to the lessons being taught in the classroom. Distractions at home can most definitely affect your concentration in the classroom. It’s not the child’s fault his home life is stressful. I think it’s the teacher’s job to recognize this and apply a solution to that problem rather than make an excuse out of it and send the child along to the next test or grade. Sherry does say that teaching style has a lot to do with how well a student can concentrate despite the standing of their home life. I think this is true as well. If you have a teacher that you don’t get along with or who’s teaching you just don’t understand you will have a much more difficult time learning the material presented to you. Teachers and students don’t always get along, and though I think that the teacher should be objective, this isn’t always the case.
Overall I thought the essay was very well organized and got its points across clearly and efficiently. Though Sherry is no scholarly proficient and her the only background I recognized is teaching children and illiterate adults I can respect a person’s right to write an essay. I agree with most of the points she makes about how failing students will be helpful to their academic career rather than detrimental. Though I disagree with the idea that all parents should be required to aid in their student’s learning. I do support her distaste for the parents that fight the grade, the ones who blame the teacher for a bad grade instead of their unmotivated child. Self-motivation is key. An F is quite an incentive to learn to read and write.