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The Education System is Killing Its Students

“Do we have to keep this?” 

Every student has asked this dreaded question, leaving their teacher grappling for answers. Technically, no, we don’t have to do anything, but it could help us actually learn something. Regardless, most will still throw the paper away. Why?

Because education is no longer about learning, it’s about grading.

No matter how many comments a teacher writes on a students paper, rarely do they have an affect. We, as students, have been programmed to believe that grades are all that matter. So what if you have to skip a family dinner celebration for your grandmother’s birthday? So what if you have to decline playing with your little sister for the one hundred and seventeenth night in a row? As long as you get an ‘A,’ right?

Because an ‘A’ means you can go to a good college, college means you can get a good job and a good job means you can make a lot of money. Eventually, you’re going to need that money to pay for your parents medical bills so they can live longer, and maybe, when they are in the hospital, you can finally spend some quality time together.

The truth of the matter, is that students are focusing more on memorizing and regurgitating information for the sake of a letter grade, instead of genuinely retaining and learning about the topic.

We, as students, must understand that it’s difficult for teachers to stray from the beaten path. They too have rules to follow and hoops to jump through; however, it’s important for those in charge to realize that the education system in America is not working.

Instead of ranking first in education or literary rates, the U.S. is ranked number one in incarceration rate and deaths by violence. 

A grading system should not allow the student excuses. With our current ABCDF grading scale, students are more apt to blame their teachers when they receive a low score, saying that the teacher “just doesn’t like me” or “they want me to fail.” Ideally, students should know the criteria for their assignment and be able to see what makes their work inferior or superior to their peers.

How can you expect a student to fix their work if they don’t know what they’re doing wrong?

It is not the students, teachers, or any individual persons fault that children are not learning; however, it is the way the education system has been constructed that is hindering its students.

The number of students with mental health problems is increasing, as more students are being diagnosed with anxiety and depression as they struggle with the pressure of school. The Center for Collegiate Mental Health 2013 Report found almost a third have seriously contemplated suicide. 

Change is hard, but necessary. The education system is failing it’s students, and it’s time something is done about it.

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Ariel Zedric is a student at Tufts University. When she's not studying, you can find her wandering around on her blog at Contact via email at or on Twitter or Instagram @arielzedric

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