In theory, every teenager wants to be a Renaissance thinker: well versed in the arts and sciences, curious about the world’s big ideas, literate in Plato, Socrates, and Shakespeare.
In reality, most teenagers aren’t interested in that stuff. They’d rather watch Gossip Girl or Jersey Shore.
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In theory, teenagers recognize that adults have wisdom that comes from life experience. They trust us when we tell them that certain academic subjects may not be fun now, but will be good for them in the long run.
In reality, teenagers crave independence. When we tell that certain academic subjects may not be fun now but will be good for them in the long run, many of them ignore us.
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In theory, teenagers take the WASL seriously and work hard to elevate their academic performance to reach new tougher standards.
In reality, teenagers couldn’t care less about the WASL. It’s just another thing that teachers make them do, another thing that takes time away from doing what they enjoy. Education leaders respond by dumbing down the standards because denying too many kids a high school diploma is politically embarrassing.
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