In the New York State schools today, all that matters is getting high grades.
New York State holds a very strict set of guidelines called the Regent curriculum that, if followed, will give students a "complete education."
In a time when all that matters to students is getting high grades, and all that matters to teachers is having those "excelled" students, there is no doubt that our educational system has failed.
A large part of the blame can be placed on the Regents curriculum.
In this curriculum, students learn how to take a set of standardized exams by studying old exam after old exam.
What is somewhat lost in the quest for high grades is the learning of the material, learning how to think and learning how to learn.
Students who have passed all the Regents requirements go into college intellectually immature and illiterate. Without everything handed to them, as the Regents curriculum allowed, they have no choice but to fail, and fail miserably.
In a world of stiff foreign competition, we have no choice but to improve our educational systems, placing the stress not only on grades, but on the ability to learn and to think.
THOMAS R. APPENHEIMER JR.