We expect students to come to school every day ready to learn. We expect that
they will walk through our doors having had at least 8 hours of sleep and a
healthy breakfast. We assume that they have the good fortune of having loving,
attentive parents who support them and value their education.
But what happens when our expectations aren't met and our assumptions are
wrong?What happens when students get little to no sleep, have no food to eat and
no parental guidance at home?
What do we offer to those students? How do we level the playing field to ensure
these students are successful?
Instead, we treat all kids the same. We place unrealistic expectations on our
kids every single day. They come to us without the basic necessities in life.
And we expect them to perform and meet standards that are beyond their
capabilities. Factors beyond their and our control are used in formulas designed
to break down and punish our students.
We expect our kids to achieve yet we don't provide them with an equal playing
field. Our most at risk students are in jeopardy of becoming even more at risk.
We don't need to test them to prove they aren't measuring up academically
compared to their peers. We already know that. What we need to be doing is
everything within our power to build them up socially and emotionally, assisting
them and their families. We have the power and the opportunity to help kids
build their arsenals to fight for a better future for themselves, despite any
and all obstacles in their way.
What are we doing to our kids if all we are concerned with is how well they
perform on a standardized test? Aren't our students worth more than a score?