Success and failure on a silver platter

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Recently, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools lowered the amount of credits needed to graduate from 28 to 24. Also, foreign language has been cut as a requirement. As a current high school senior in the CMS school system, I am disturbed at the decision to make such changes. I don't believe this action was taken to help students, but rather help the school district with numbers.

I'm not so sure the school system knows just who they are teaching. This is a generation that has had a lot of things handed to them, which has caused many kids to be lazy. Of course I don't mean this about all high school teens, but more than I'm proud to say. Lowering credits doesn't "help" students; it harms them. It lowers the standards that are set for them when they are capable of successfully doing much more. We may be a lazy generation, but we are an optimistic and open-minded one. It may not show but we are capable of succeeding, and not only succeeding but going above and beyond. We just need the motivation, something to show us that someone believes we can do it. In a way, I feel the school system thinks less of us, that we need them to lower credits and requirements for us to succeed. Well, the truth is we can do so much better.

Students these days don't need things the easy way, they already have plenty of that. What students do need is a challenge. I strongly believe my generation has a potential beyond anyone's belief. If anything, credits should be raised if success is the CMS school system's goal. The goal should not be graduation, but education. First of all, they should promote having goals and thinking ahead, not laziness, which is the message sent out by lowering standards. What I hear from CMS is, "You seem to be struggling so let me make it easy for you. It's OK that you don't want to try, we'll just change things for you and hooray! Success!" Wrong. Especially with the state the economy is in now, no one is going to have it easy, whether you're a CEO or a bag boy. We cannot encourage the idea that everyone is going to change the circumstances to make you happy and "successful" all the time.

As for the removal of foreign language from requirements to graduate, that's just absurd. CMS is again handing everything to their students on a silver platter just so they can say, "Look how well our students are doing!" Well let's see how those students are doing in 10 years after being turned down by an enormous number of colleges and universities, because they didn't have the required units of a foreign language. Being a high school senior currently in the process of applying for post-secondary institutions, I know almost every college and university out there requires at least two units of a consecutive foreign language.

All in all, I'm not sure if I trust CMS to know what they're doing. Students will be the ones suffering the consequences. Sure, members of the school system may think these decisions are for the best, but they are kind of like your parents: They think they know what's best for you, but really have no idea.

— Robyn Banez

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