So just like any other year, students have to attend the opening ceremony; my little sister sat down in the last rows filled with graffiti in the auditorium I looked up and thinking to myself, “ They changed the principle again, whoever in charge, do they think it will fix the problems? ” They have been using this method for ages. Every year, the new principle would give an awesome speech about how they would fix everything. But the past decade, same problems still haunt the school. Even though fear and worries in my head, I have no choice but to let my little sister attends this school.
Welcome to Northeast High of the Kansas City District; welcome to the education of my life. I moved to America when I was twelve and I attended Northeast Middle School. The District put me in the ELL (English Language Learner) program because I didn’t speak any English. So in those three years, I learned as much as I could but I was still a kid, I didn’t really pay attention to my education nor did I care about it. But in 8th grade, I got a peak of how education could turn out. Mr. Bui was my math teacher that year, he was special.
Even though the school set up its lesson plan, Mr. Bui didn’t follow it; he told the class that we were ready for higher level class. So he ordered an old set of high school Algebra I textbooks and started teaching. I knew he was a good teacher, the whole class got A in the end of the year and we were ready for high school. When I was a freshman in high school that was where education became more serious for me. All the students that went to Northeast Middle were automatically enrolled in Northeast High, which is right next to each other.
The school is about to be 100 years old and it was popular for all the bad things, such as: gangs, shooting, fighting, drugs, and bad education. My family didn’t want me to go to this school. But we had no choice, we couldn’t afford to move. At first, I thought these violent wouldn’t matter because I was going to try hard to learn. But I was dead wrong, the school was like a prison, these were ten security guards and two police officers always on standby in case of emergency. It just made you feel like a criminal being watch instead of a normal student like you are supposed to be.
But the biggest problem prevented me from learning was the teacher, they were horrible. It seemed like they were there to babysit us, most of them would tell you to crack a book open and read one chapter then do the reviews. They usually read the newspaper, play games or read a book. Once, the class even caught my teacher watching inappropriate videos on his computer. Things were horrible, there were no such thing as homework, the school use the excuse there wasn’t enough textbook for students to bring home. Even so, not all the teacher were bad, some of them are actually teaching and a few were doing well in it.
I guess it’s about who cares and who doesn’t. Of course, the students love it, they never had to do anything to get a good grade. You can just sleep in one class the entire year and would still able to pass with C. Sometimes I enjoy it but other time I hated it because I have high expectation of myself. In my junior year, the Kansas City School District was low on funds for education. It closed down a few schools and Northeast High was on the list. But then in the meeting for voting, there were so many parents showing up and spoke up; Northeast High remain stay open.
Even so, the District closed down Northeast Middle and put the students in high school and it turned into the K-12 program. Which they made the problems worse; every week there would be a fight in the school, more gangs related, more bullies, more graffiti, and more shooting in the neighborhood. We had big an incident when a girl got raped in the bathroom, but they kept it as a secret. The victim moved away and the kids took part in it was punished. In my last year of my high school, disaster strike when the Kansas City School District lost its accreditation.
The reason we lost it is because of the students test scores, I wasn’t really surprise but I was mad. My whole education life felt like trash, I wish I could do something to change it. But even so, I hoped for a better education in college so I kept going. The senior class of 2012, there were 142 students but only about half of us graduated. I was in the top 10% of the class rank and I received a few scholarships. Only a handful of class went on to a 4 years-college, some went to community college and the rest still trying to find a job.
There are many reasons why the education system could be so mess up but someone, somehow need to fix it. If one can fire the useless teacher and hire the good teacher. I think things would be a little better. Of course, if the neighborhood were better, the school wouldn’t be effect by all the bad things around it. I’m hoping my family will finally able to move next year so my little sister doesn’t have to go through the same thing I did. I’m also glad I made it to college and getting a good education. I know some kids out there that wish to be me right now.