By Havana Rosario
I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity to go to such an amazing institution this fall and I am very much looking forward to it. I am also very glad that my acceptance to New York University (NYU) has given me the chance to give my opinions on issues and speak to a lot of different people about my future plans.
That being said, I feel as if some students who are very much deserving of such opportunities are not given them. Due to the current education system, many students are denied the same opportunities as others due to the restrictive curriculum in primary and secondary schooling. Many students are viewed as inadequate for not attaining certain grades and in most schools are not given many opportunities to fix that problem.
State testing, such as the New York State Regents exams, contribute to this because students are required to remember a whole years worth of information that is in most cases utterly worthless, in order to repeat it back during a test, like a parrot, or even a robot.
Forced, Rushed Productivity
The majority of schooling is seemingly based on memorization, rather than actually learning. Students are given tests and quizzes on short notice to make sure that they “learn”, but it is seen that students don’t actually remember much of what they are supposed to be learning because they are given way too much work at once. Especially in high school, students’ mental health is not a priority.
Many of my friends, and myself as well, are victims of not getting enough sleep on a daily basis due to the ridiculous amount of busy-work we are given. It is prioritized that we are productive and that we write things down, but with all of this busy-ness, we are not given time to actually learn any of the material that is being placed in front of us. Most teachers often don’t cut back on work when students express that they need a break, due to the fact they have a timeline to meet when it comes to being able to teach students.
Teaching is being rushed due to the fact that students have to take an exam at the end of the year. Rather than prioritizing that the teaching is done efficiently, we are prioritizing the number that comes back on an exam. This does not mean that it is the fault of the teachers, rather it is the fault of the modern day education system.
I have found that in my classes that are college courses, with no state exam or AP test, I learned more because my learning was not being rushed.
As a student, I experience all of these things firsthand, and I know that it is an urgent issue.
The current students are the people who make America’s future – the future politicians, doctors, teachers, psychologists, and even the future presidents are all probably doing their math homework or even studying for a physics test instead of sleeping as we speak.
We may never get to meet someone who may know the cure for cancer, because he or she was deemed unintelligent for not passing his or her Algebra 2 Regents with flying colors.
Making A Difference
I know that through the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program (MLK) at NYU, I will be given many opportunities to live my life under the leadership and ideologies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is an amazing honor to me.
I hope to use this opportunity to make a change in the world, much like Martin Luther King would want to see if he was still alive.
After a lot of consideration and an internal debacle, I have decided to study public policy while I am an undergraduate at NYU.
I hope to become a civil rights lawyer in my future. I believe that by being an MLK scholar, I will be able to find leadership and service opportunities that will help me make a difference before I even enter the law field.
Rosario is a senior at St. Agnes Academic H.S., College Point. She was selected for membership in the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program at New York University. Scholars are selected based on demonstrated commitment to further the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through excellence in academic achievement, distinguished leadership and community service.