The Issue of Student Preparedness
The article titled “Teaching Responsibility” deals with the issue of student preparedness after high school.The article brings up the recent case of Jonathan Govias who is suing his private high school stating that the school did not prepare him for university.The article goes on to give two examples, one in Virginia and one in Ontario of how these types of problems are being dealt with.
The editor agrees s that the school system should be held more responsible for its graduates, but makes it clear that lawyers only complicate matters.
I believe that Jonathan Govias” case should be heard in a court of law due to the fact that schools have a certain responsibility and if it is not met then something needs to be done about it. I am in total disagreement with the Ontario”s school plan to get rid of this problem and am a total fan of the Virginia pilot project, because unlike the Ontario plan they are actually looking to help the students and not their own pockets.
After dropping out of his first year engineering program at the university of Alberta, Jonathan Govias decided to sue his alma mater for a total of $140,000 claiming that the school failed to fully prepare him for what university had in store for him. Jonathan attended a private school, and as we all know private schools charge a large amount of money in order to provide a better education for its students. That is why parents enroll their children in private schools. Jonathan after graduating got accepted in the engineering program, which is a hard program to get into since a high average is necessary.
Private education costs money, therefore making it a business that provides services and like any other business should be held responsible if their services fail, or does not meet the standard that the school promises to meet. I believe that the school is very much responsible for Jonathan”s post secondary education. Private schools take pride in the fact that they can provide a better education than public schools and that they prepare their students with the tools they need to survive in the university world.
It is also important to note that this case has not yet been decided in favor of Jonathan and that Jonathan should be given a chance to prove himself. The fact that this action against the private school is taking place shows that Jonathan has just cause for his decision to take his case before the judge. The next area the editor deals with is what Ontario is doing to solve the problem of student preparedness. A key performance indicator review will soon be in effect. This review will look at the employment rate of the former students as well as a survey of what employers think of the quality of the graduates.
In the end it is said that up to six percent of a college”s provincial government funding will be affected by these results. This way the schools with successful students will get more funding, where as the schools who do not do well will be faced with cutbacks. Cutbacks in any way shape or form are a bad thing. We are already facing cutbacks in the elementary, junior high and high school levels. These cutbacks are the direct reason for the lack of student preparedness, and now community colleges are in for it.
It is interesting that Ontario is going to enforce these rules to community colleges and not to universities. I would like to know why. I do not see how cutbacks are going to help a college that already is not doing well. You might as well shut the school down because with these cutbacks that Ontario has in store for the colleges, the school might as well close its doors. On the other hand Virginia has come up with an idea that will help its students. In order for the schools to be held accountable they have come up with a pilot project that provides its students with educational warranties.
This way if a student requires remedial education within two years, the school board will cover the costs. This is how Virginia is dealing with the graduate”s lack of basic skills. This plan by Virginia seems to me to be a better way to make a difference, and shows that they are putting their students first. First thing I would like to point out is that the plan by Virginia is a pilot project, meaning that it is currently at its test phase, therefore we must wait for the results to see if it is a plan to be adopted by all school board districts.
With that in mind the pilot project is still a great idea. For one it holds the schools responsible for their actions and keeps a close eye on the schools performance but does not have cut backs in mind. Students are now given a second chance to make things right. It is known that the high school years are hard on adolescence and that many find it hard to cope with the changes that are constantly taking place. Unlike the Ontario plan this projects does not close any doors on its students.
The pilot project undertaken in Virginia gets the thumbs; up because it puts the students first by providing them with a chance at a good education, which in the end is the soul purpose of an educational institution. “Study hard” parents tell you. All your life you hear that in order to succeed in life you must study hard, get a good education and make something of yourself. One must not forget that the school is also responsible for its actions and responsible for providing a usable education. Unfortunately these days the high school diploma does not matter much to people, it is the post-secondary piece of paper that counts.
Well obviously one needs a proper high school education in order to be able to survive in the post-secondary world. We as a society need to be concerned with the lack of student preparedness. These students lacking basic skills are going to run the future world. We need to nip this problem through the use of projects such as the one introduced in Virginia. As we enter the millenium, we need to understand that investments in our future are crucial. By providing a better education we prepare our children for all the advancements that we are headed for.