“Just because you’re super-smart, you can’t expect everyone to keep up with your pace,” Tessa said. She may have been agitated.
“I’m not smart. In a class of 42 students, I consistently ranked 21st. I am the epitome of average,” I retorted defending myself.
What were we arguing about? The U.S. public school system.
“Oh, man! Did you hear about the guy who scored 97% on Dr. Brady’s test,” someone from my calculus class once told me. “He’s from Cameroon. In my experience, I have noticed that people from Cameroon are usually really good at math.”
I assume that is offensive on some level.
Anyway, I am more than familiar with the reputation that people of certain nationalities have when it comes to academics. However, I disagree that growing up in a certain geographical area or being born with a particular set of genes decides your mental aptitude.
I respectfully agree that certain medical conditions can make academic learning challenging for people who are afflicted with them. However, if a person is mentally fit, I see no reason why they are incapable of exceeding the standards set by the U.S. public school system.
I believe that the system is working as hard as it can to dumb down the American youth. As a tutor, I come across several kids whose mental aptitude is far beyond what the school curriculum expects of them. Don’t get me wrong. I am not referring to the students who get straight A’s. Even students whose report cards may say they are only scoring C’s have often attempted using problem solving techniques that one would associate with a much higher level.
I am literally angered each time this happens. I see students who are perfectly capable of understanding higher level courses stuck dealing with basic courses. For example, why should a student in the U.S. be introduced to how exponents work only in high school when other countries introduce them in the 3rd or 4th grades?
Time is precious and the school system wastes the time of its students forcing them to learn far slower than they are capable of.