State should recognize, encourage high achievers

Print Article

As juniors in high school, we are concerned about our future. Since we have started high school, we have taken on challenging classes in an effort to prepare ourselves for higher education. We all started taking high school level classes in middle school in preparation to take college classes that we are currently enrolled in as high school students.

Our high school requires more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses to graduate than what Idaho currently requires for graduation. We have spent hours preparing for and taking standardized tests including ISATS, Civics exam, Biology EOC (End of Course) Assessment and college entrance exams. In addition to all of our academic endeavors, we have all participated in community service activities and extracurriculars. Our class dreams big, and we are not afraid to put forth the extra effort to achieve those dreams.

We are concerned because Idaho policy makers have made decisions that will devalue our diplomas in the eyes of higher education institutes and future employers. We live in a competitive society, and our class wants to be ahead of the curve. Currently, in Idaho, all of the required assessments do not have any expectations of proficiency; the only expectation is that we participate.

There are 46 high school credits required by Idaho to graduate, and 17 of those credits are undesignated elective credits. The highest math course specifically required by the state is geometry. At our school, students meet that requirement by the end of ninth grade. We live in a world of technology, yet the majority of high schools in Idaho have no graduation requirement for basic technology competency.

As Bill Gates said, “Our current expectations for what our students should learn in school were set 50 years ago to meet the needs of an economy based on manufacturing and agriculture. We now have an economy based on knowledge and technology.” For some of us, the high school experience goes far beyond these state requirements.

If Idaho had the option of a “STEM diploma” for high school students who put in the extra effort to take more STEM-related courses than what is required by the state, it would give those students a competitive edge in regard to higher education and the job market.

We are simply asking policy makers to reimagine what the high school experience could be with higher expectations, and recognize those students who are willing to do the work to achieve them.

•••

This opinion piece was submitted by North Idaho STEM Charter Academy’s Class of 2018, Rathdrum.

Print Article

Read More Columns

Private school vouchers aren’t helping students

April 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A 2017 study in the District of Columbia about the effects of private school vouchers has further confirmed the results of recent studies in Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio. By and large, the performanc...

Comments

Read More

Clock is ticking to vote on favorite books

April 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press First up, imagine a giant sign. You can’t miss it. Pretend it’s like one of those signposts you see as you approach the California border ... “No live plants or vegetables can be brought past th...

Comments

Read More

Local celebs dance for performing arts benefit

April 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Two years ago I declared there were two things I knew I’d never do: jump out of a perfectly good airplane or become a professional dancer. I’ve stayed true to my word. 2016’s debut of Coeur d’Alene S...

Comments

Read More

Following your tax dollars

April 17, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press If you haven’t yet filed your income tax forms, you’d better move fast. They must be postmarked today, or if filed electronically, by midnight. The feds need your share of 2017’s estimated $2.2 trill...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X