It seems to me that we run our schools like people are passing through on an assembly line. To me only two grades should be acceptable. A child should receive a "YOU PASSED" for understanding the material or a "LET'S TRY THAT AGAIN" for not understanding the material. Why do we press on to the next phase of a subject when something is not understood. This is the secret to successful academics for people who homeschool. You can't move on to the next phase until the student understands what was taught previously. It is a waste of time because you can't do something like teach a child how to read without introducing the alphabet or how to do accounting if they don't know what a number is.
So many times I speak to young people in high school or college (if they get that far) that feel stupid when they are not. High school becomes a burden and a farce. Childhood dreams of career are crushed. Many are thrown in the bin of career centers and "guidance counselors" discourage or ignore children with low grade point averages.
These people have been like a car going down the assembly line and somewhere along the way they missed a basic in their education. They don't know what they missed, they just know that a subject is hard, uncomfortable, and they are frustrated. How can you fix something when you don't know where to look. They believe that whatever is wrong is unfixable. They give up talents and dreams. We are robbing this whole nation day in and day out.
When my nephew was in the sixth grade in school, the teacher evaluated that most of the class knew the sixth grade level work, so she skipped ahead and taught seventh grade level math. My nephew has hated math ever since. He doesn't know what is missing, he just thinks he is not capable to do math.
What a lie we have dumped on people. It's like assembling an automobile as it goes down the production line and thinking that it's acceptable to leave out the transmission or skip the brakes or tires. When the automobile comes to the end of the line the workers would then blame the parts manufacturers, the car itself, or the guy who built the factory. Stop blaming the car. Take responsibility and fill in the gaps or show them how to fill in the gaps.
JUST A THOUGHT: When this country had one room school houses, basic education was more thorough. Children may have missed a concept one year but it would be repeated every year thereafter. Children also were more socialized because they experienced all different age groups everyday. Older children helped younger children. Younger children watched and learned from older children. Everyone was a peer.
Our education does not need more money thrown at it, it just needs some common sense and accountability. Stop laying the blame on the car. Stop laying the blame on the child.