Dear Governor Christie:
Aristotle once said, “The roots to education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” Unfortunately, our fruit hasn’t become the sweetest. The recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has shown that although the US may spend the most on its students, we aren’t all high and mighty. U.S students ranked 36 in Maths, 28 in Science, and 24 in Language Arts. Shanghai, China ranked number one in every subject. You have proposed many times before on extending school hours or days to help students reach their full potential. I wish it were that simple, but nothing comes to us that easily. If this were to happen, it would surpass the real reasons we aren’t ranking high enough.
Let’s take a look at high ranking countries such as Finland, Australia, and of course China. China is number one, but also very high on another list. China’s suicide rate is among the highest in the world, ranking number 6. When you add more school, you add more stress. Students are stressed out enough with trying to be that perfect body they see in the magazines. School shouldn’t add onto that, school should be a comfortable and fun learning environment for kids. In China, failing is not an option. You must attend school 260 days a year and if you con not, a parent steps in place to take notes for you. That is no way to live. Students are put under so much pressure they think the only way to be freed is to take their own life. Education and intelligence isn’t worth it at the cost of someone’s life. Both countries ranked significantly lower on the list of countries by suicide rate, Finland ranking at 22 and Australia ranking at 50. Although Peru, ranked last on the PISA, they ranked 99 on the list of countries by suicide rate. It isn’t worth the risk.
As if school wasn’t hard enough! School breaks are treasured by families because it is the only time they really have together. Family time is cherished by many and overlooked by many. I am one of...
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