STEM dominance is stifling teachers, students | #students | #parents

Standardized testing has been heavily debated in academia since the early 1900s. In the modern era, teachers are pressured to teach for standardized tests. They are compared to each other on uneven playing fields. Their performance is marked by growth margins literally correlated to the growth of a plant.  

People who enter education to change the lives of their students are spending more time stressing about satisfying an arbitrary algorithm than creating lessons that enlighten their students.  

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On the other side, students are treating their education as a game of amassing GPA points and collecting Advanced Placement classes like shiny rocks to give to a college. This system is largely transactional — inputting numbers and resume padding toward a goal of a high income down the road. It has transformed education from a source of knowledge for the betterment of the self into a prerequisite for a satisfying job.  

These issues come with the glorification of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). To many, STEM is a positive modernization to a system that has long focused on the liberal arts. But this change has instead crushed creativity, stunted growth in demonstrated critical thinking and left teachers frustrated.  

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