November means time for college students to drop the subjects they know they can't pass.
I spoke to Tony about dropping math. His last test grade was a 20 and he seemed kind of clueless. Tony told me he couldn't because he was dropping chemistry and he needed at least 12 credits. Although I had my doubts about his ability to pull through, I told him to give it his all, hit the learning center and if he pulled up the next two exams and did reasonably well on the final, I would pass him.
Tony didn't show up in class yesterday. I asked his friends if he was okay. They told me he dropped all his classes and moved home. He just couldn't handle the academic load.
Tony is a product of a NYC (Brooklyn, to be exact) high school. He did fairly well there and should be doing the same now. He is a boy who works in class, studies and, in other words, does all that is expected of him. Yet, he couldn't make it.
There can be lots of reasons why this young man didn't make it, but a big one is the lack of preparation he got in high school for college. He never learned the proper way to study and never had to push himself to succeed. He probably got through many courses because he is sweet and polite and a burden to no one.
Were there kids like this before Bloomberg? Of course there were. Will there always be kids who can't make it? Of course there will be. But, the number of kids like Tony is at an all time high. How many more will leave with their heads hung low before we wake up and really start educating? How many more will consider themselves failures because they have been pushed into a program they don't belong in?