Thursday, February 2, 2012

From the Source: A High School Student Speaks Out

High school senior Haylee Wilkes of Brighton High School, Utah, joined the content department here at School Improvement Network in a job shadowing event this morning. While she was here, she wrote a blog post for you, dear readers. I'll be honest--I was impressed with how quickly she understood and applied the principles my colleague and I gave her. She seemed like an astute young lady with a bright future.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I read her post. Though not vindictive (despite a rather provocative title), Haylee's post spells out the failure she felt as she confesses to having received (or earned?) a 22 on the ACT. "Average" and "mediocre" were how she described herself. I remember well the days that my own perception of a person was largely--and wrongly--dependent on their GPA and ACT. My perception changed when I found out that my wife, a person much more intelligent than I am, has an ACT score 8 points below mine. But we don't all have the benefit of such a changed perspective.

Did Haylee earn a 22, or did she receive it? We talk about college and career ready, but do we help our students feel college and career capable? And though education is not about "feeling good," what obligation do we have to help students build a self-perception and self-confidence to do what they can obviously do well?

Haylee is a bright young lady, though her standardized test scores don't reflect her view of "smart." Learn more over on our Common Core 360 blog where Haylee posted her experience.

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