A Race to Nowhere (Student Version)

Through this survey, we're trying to capture our community's sense of the degree to which the claims made in A Race to Nowhere apply to our own school community. Please assess each of the claims below in terms of how well, in your view, it applies to OUR OWN SCHOOL COMMUNITY.

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  1. These are claims made regarding the causes of the problem. Indicate the degree to which you feel that each claim applies to OUR school community.

            1 2 3 4 5      
      The "system" (school and parental rules) pressures all kids to achieve an unrealistic standard of success. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Parents are afraid that their children will not be as successful as they were.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      There is enormous pressure to grow up to make a lot of money and have a big house. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      During the school years, we define success in terms of high grades, test scores and trophies.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      We are teaching the majority of kids as if they were the top 2%; every kid is expected to be supersmart and go on to great colleges.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      The pressure begins very early and never lets up, stage by stage, with no end in sight. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      There is pressure to perform across multiple areas: academics, sports, arts, extracurriculars, service, self-knowledge, social popularity. Schools say "you're dedicating your life to your grades", and sports say "no, you're dedicating your whole life to us!". Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      It's important for kids to have unstructured time. Play is a critical part of life that is increasingly being lost.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      There is great social pressure to pretend everything is good. Social media are teaching kids how they have to look, how they have to think.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Kids learn not to show how they are really doing, and many of them are unhappy and unsuccessful.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  

  1. These are claims made regarding the consequences of the problem. Indicate the degree to which you feel that each claim applies to OUR school community.

            1 2 3 4 5      
      The current system of "perform and produce" leaves out the learning. Curriculum goals are set up in such a way that is "component-skills"-based. This leads to teaching that is fragmented and on a check-off list for testing, which doesn't get kids interested long-term learning.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      The primary way we now teach kids is to prepare them for the test, especially in math and science.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Teachers are forced to prepare kids for "the test", because that is how their jobs are defined, and how their bonuses are based. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      There is an overemphasis on homework, driven by multiple factors: the content standards, pressure from parents ("you're not doing your job as a teacher unless you're giving my kid homework"), the standards-driven approach championed by No Child Left Behind.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Many students are "doing school": cramming and doing well on tests but not really learning.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Young people need a lot of sleep but under these pressures, they are getting much less than they need.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Many kids are dropping out of the system in various ways; boys tend to "act out" and girls tend to become depressed. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Activities that actually get kids to think and care are excluded from school. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Tutoring teaches kids that there are formulas, that they are not able to think by themselves.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Most, or almost all, kids cheat. Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Kids cheat because they have too much work and the pressure is too great. Others consider that the teacher doesn't care, it's just busy work.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      High school is preparation not for college but the college admissions.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      If a student doesn't get into her dream school, it is perceived as major failure.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      The only unstructured time kids have is on their computer.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  
      Kids are not getting the time to discover what they really love.  Strongly agree  Strongly disagree  

Teacher, club sponsor, and student of history and philosophy
Wilmington Friends School
Wilmington, DE