Wesley Sims, 18, says his high school is too easy and that he’s breezed through his courses with miminal effort. And then he took the SATs.
Mike Kirst, a professor emeritus at Stanford, says watered-down coursework and grade inflation is “more common than uncommon” at high schools, and that it’s not unique to Oakland.
After all, Kirst points out, about 60 percent of freshmen entering the CSU system need remediation in English, math or both — and those are students with at least a B average who have completed all of the college prep, or `a to g’, classes.
How do you change this? You often hear about the importance of staff having “high expectations” of students, but that’s clearly not enough. Most of us know how much skill is required to do the job well, and how important good leadership and school culture is.
What can principals, experienced teachers, central office staff and families do to make sure teachers have the support they need and that students are being challenged, academically — in all of their classes? Where is this happening now?