St. Louis Students Imagine the Benefits of Education
The St. Louis Public Schools’ problems have been in the news a lot lately. In particular, students’ reading and math MAP test scores are way below the state average. But the schools always manage to resist pressure to "teach to the test." The Post-Dispatch describes the latest assignment at Fanning Middle School:
Each student was randomly assigned a career, a family situation and 18 decisions to make pertaining to such budgetary realities as groceries, health insurance, utilities, child care and clothing. …
Seventh-grader Derrick Lloyd, assigned the career of a chemist who is single and earns $41,000, made frugal choices down the line. "My goal is to retire at 32," he said.
Early retirement (or earning $41,000 a year) will be out of reach for most of these kids as long as the district’s drop-out rate stays so high and test scores stay so low. Only 15.1 percent of district 10th graders are proficient in math, which means that the vast majority of them are not prepared to become chemists.
Unless the schools improve, these imaginary science careers are going to remain a dream.