The Already Lost Generation

We talk about banks that are too big to fail, and car companies, and such. We say that schools are failing, but really we think that schools are too big to fail – that if we take reform seriously and rebuild schools from the ground up – we’ll “lose a generation.” But we’ve already lost them.

When students drop out, we’ve lost them.

When students graduate and can barely read, we’ve lost them.

When students are still segregated by race, we’ve lost them.

When students must choose home learning over being bullied…

When female students routinely lose self-esteem and interest in math and science…

When students are valued more for athletics than academics…

When students learn to take tests instead of to think and question…

When students are denied accurate science and health lessons…

When young artists can’t learn to develop their talent…

When students with disabilities must have advocates and lawyers to make progress…

When students who do graduate can’t afford higher education…

When classes are so big that struggling students disappear in the crowd…

When technology is plentiful only in the wealthiest districts…

When school funding is dependent on location…

When school curriculum is dependent on location…

When school buildings are unfit to house students…

When new teachers are sent to the worst schools…

When teachers must use their own money for classroom supplies…

When teachers and students both cheat on tests…

When school boards and government ride their personal hobbyhorses…

When three states determine the whole nation’s textbook content…

We’ve already lost them.

We have failed the students more thoroughly than a grade on a report card ever can.

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