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The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

Students suffer in California school system

Nathaniel Valencia
California school systems have experienced struggles across the state as many students drop out and teachers struggle with teaching.

As we reach the end of this semester, students really settle into the repulsive public school system students are expected to put up with. Unfortunately, there is no escape from this in any U.S public school. California especially has faced a massive student drop out, lack of effective teaching, and a constant deterioration of mental health. So the question remains, will anyone direct their attention to improving public schools?

As someone who currently attends public school, I have witnessed many occurrences that many would call questionable or concerning but a question still stands: What is truly going on in the Californian public school system?

According to City Journal, the school system in California found that only thirty-percent of eighth graders were proficient in reading before the Covid 19 Lockdown.   

In 2023, a summary released by California School Dashboard of Buena High School’s academic statistics was released, however the results showed a struggle with English language learner students. Additionally, the graduation rate declined 8.8 percent, mathematics showing struggle, and only Language Arts showing an improvement.

Unfortunately, lack of literary skills isn’t the only issue. Between the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 terms, roughly 160,000 students were found leaving California public schools for various reasons. 

“[This] makes me feel sad. We have public education for a reason. We need an educated public,” Buena world history and APUSH teacher Meghann Martin said.

Many cities have seen this major drop in enrollment and most have complained. As for where they’re going, City Journal claims that many have moved out of California or decided to attend private schools. The rest are most likely homeschooling, like they did during the pandemic.

We have public education for a reason. We need an educated public,”

— Buena world history and APUSH teacher Meghann Martin

Furthermore, many elementary school teachers have been refusing to teach certain subjects, possibly based on opinions, struggles in an area, or religious beliefs that they might have.

“[They] are responsible for teaching… it does not matter whether or not [they] like it… [they] need to teach it,” Martin said.

Along with the obvious school struggles, many find themselves dealing with mental health problems without any resources to help. Many attempts have been made to increase mental health support across campus, like implementing wellness centers, but sometimes these attempts can be unsuccessful. Student mental health is not improving and in some ways, it is still getting worse.

“It is an illness and [it] requires support and [many people] do not have access to the resources they need to get that support,” Martin said.

The question that many school systems are still asking is: how can we possibly fix this deep hole the U.S school board has dug for us? Well, the curriculum could use some changes due to the fact many still teach to test, rather than teaching to understand. Additionally, the average student attention span is at an all time low, mostly due to the pandemic as many students spent hours staring at a screen. 

  Although the problems in public schools have been addressed, not enough has been done to substantially change it. With the current struggles, some of the offered solutions have been conducting research on the students and their attention spans in order to gain knowledge on how to improve the teaching style for students who have shorter attention spans. Another offered solution has been to change the current curriculum and not teaching to test, but teaching to understand in order to improve skills with reading, writing, mathematics, and science.


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About the Contributor
Nathaniel Valencia
Nathaniel Valencia, Features Section Editor
Nathaniel is a junior at BHS and in his first year for Buean Speaks, he is known for being friendly, caring, and smart. He loves to bake, hang out with his friends and family, and read, especially when it is gloomy weather.

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