Here is another student essay from a Rockdale Career Academy 10th grader. The assignment was “an argumentative essay about the fate of America’s intelligence.” This essay is by student Alexis Chisman.
By Alexis Chisman
In the dictionary, the word evolution means a change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such process as mutation, natural selection and genetic drift. According to this definition, human beings in the world today have already made a major leap in evolution, having a physical structure more advanced than our ancestors. We have also evolved technology, creating items that make our everyday lives more accommodating, but what may be making our lives easier is also causing the standards of education into a death spiral. The inhabitants of America are losing intelligence because technology is growing while test scores are dwindling.
How could the brainpower of United States citizens possibly be ebbing? Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg never completed their education, but they invented two popular devices known around the world, Apple and Facebook.
What is problematic about these men is they are two outliers out of an American population consisting of 313,573,959 individuals. The concern should be on the 55 million kids in elementary school, not these two billionaires.
In reality, the United States education is sinking in the world ranks of education. In 2010, America ranked 14th out of 34 countries tested on reading, mathematics, and science. With these shocking statistics, it appears that the children of the upcoming generation will get pushed under the rug along with their schooling. The movie, “Waiting for Superman,” predicts that this generation of children will become less literate than the last.
Kids taking standardized tests sometimes receive “curves,” which add a certain number of points onto their grade. For example, a child that makes a 60 on a test can receive a curve of up to 20 points which will then make his or her grade a passing 80. The educational system appears to be set up so a child can put forth minimal efforts and be passed to the next grade. These students not getting challenged could result in a population of lackluster adults.
Although technology can be tremendously helpful, it can stunt the intellectual growth of this generation and the upcoming generations. The world is filled with extravagant gadgets that that can help kids cheat on their homework, such as translators, cellphones, and even I-Pods. US News conducted a survey which finds that one out of three students use their cellphones to cheat by storing information.
I see cheating using these devices happening every day in the classrooms. These devices being used in this manner are causing students to lose concern about school work and tests. I conducted a personal survey on my classmates and found that 14 out of 23 kids spend 10 or more hours on their cell phones for entertainment purposes, and only five kids out of those 23 spend one to three hours studying for school. The focus for these students is officially off of homework and on their social media applications.
There is major concern for what may be in the future of the children of this nation. Technology and the country’s educational systems are failing these helpless children, and the simple ways of America can no longer continue in this manner.
There should be a transformation on the policy of technological devices in the classroom and also the standards on education. Superintendents of school systems have our children’s educational future in their hands, and they need to make immediate action to change the course of this country’s intellectual future. Change is possible in this country; we just simply have to put down the cell phone and pick up a book.
—From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog