Are Our High School Students Dumb? Are Our High Schools Disastrous?

Diane Ravitch's blog

I received a letter from John Ogozolak, a teacher in upstate New York, where the economy has long been in serious trouble, with a paucity of jobs and economic opportunity.

I decided to share it, because like him, I too have wondered what message we give our high school students. The politicians and the media constantly tell them how dumb they are, how lazy and shiftless, yet they are our future. What kind of world are they graduating into? Will there be jobs? Will they have a chance? Will there be social mobility and opportunity? Or will they find themselves slipping down into the bottom end of the economy?

John’s letter arrived only hours after I read this column in Slate by Laurence Steinberg, who studies adolescents, declaring that our high schools are a total disaster, and our kids are learning nothing, based on the fact that test scores…

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