Right now, in Portugal and in other places like the US, our schools are lowering the bar (making tests easier) to have a higher percentage of students with passing grades.
This is wrong because the only thing that its raising is the bar of mediocrity.
Tests should be hard not because we like failing grades and angry students but because hard tests force students to evolve their reasoning and deductive skills, memory, and a lot other brain activities.
The worst case scenario is not having a poor student fail a passing test, the worst case scenario is having the next generation of bright students not being pushed to their full potential because they slept through their early years, and ended up a lazy brain.
Forget breakthrough advancements in medical, science, math, chemistry, and other areas. It was so easy to fly through the early years, the above-average kids just fell asleep and their capabilities where not exercised when they most needed, in their youth.
You are worried with the growing segment of the population that is growing fat because of bad lifestyle decisions and even worse food choices? That will be nothing if the next generation of leaders is made of average minded people, with poor to zero knowledge of history and culture, not to mention science.
That's my worst fear.
And you know what? It's your fault, and mine. Its our fault because you and I need to get off our asses and do one of two things:
- be more politically active, run for local office, talk about education where ever you go, make it your national number one priority;
- or if you are not inclined to be a politician, make sure your own politicians talk about education. Ask them, prod them, organize groups for higher standards, make your voice heard.
And if a pro-education politician gets elected, support him, defend him, give him cloud cover. Education is not a sexy subject and harsh measures might be required. Having Be aware of what is being done to the future of your kids, help in what you can.
I don't know if I will live to my own expectation on this, I sure hope so. Because this is an example of the right meaning to the word important.