Survey Says: Students Feel School Is Too Easy

A new report shows how public schools are failing to challenge our kids.
Kids in schools across the country aren't feeling challenged and often find themselves bored in class. (Photo: Tim Platt)
Jul 10, 2012
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

Students across the country have a bone to pick with their schools. According to a new report, public school kids feel they are not being challenged and that their course work is too easy.

The report, by Ulrich Boser and Lindsay Rosenthal at the Center for American Progress, reveals that 37 percent of fourth graders say their math work is too easy and more than a third of high-school seniors say they hardly ever write about what they read in class. More than half of high schoolers and eighth graders surveyed believe their history course work is too simple.

Boser and Rosenthal's report is an analysis of the Nation's Report Card conducted by the U.S. Education Department's research arm. The co-authors focused on student questionnaires and looked closely at rigor and student expectations.

Some of their findings include:

  • Many students are not engaged in rigorous learning activities.
  • Too many students don’t understand their teacher’s questions and report that they are not learning during class.
  • Students from disadvantaged background are less likely to have access to more rigorous learning opportunities.

Based on the student surveys, Boser and Rosenthal made a few recommendations on how to improve student achievement and engagement:

  • Policymakers must continue to push for higher, more challenging standards.
  • Students need more rigorous learning opportunities, and our nation needs to figure out ways to provide all students with the education that they deserve.
  • Researchers and educators should continue to develop student surveys.

In conclusion, Rosenthal and Boser recognize in their report that many states have "engaged in promising reform" over the last few years; however, the study's findings "suggest we need to do far more to improve the learning experience for all students."

Do you feel school is too easy for our kids? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee

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