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WHAT ARE WE DOING?

WHY THE SAT SCANDAL IS NOT THE REAL PROBLEM!

Today is a day for us to get real about what success means for our students. The pressure to have high GPA and SAT scores—and go to the top schools—is stressful for our students! And is that what really defines success?

As the Co-Founder of Titan Tutors, I am saddened and disappointed at the SAT scandal; however, I am not surprised. For many families, rich or poor, it’s all about keeping up with the status quo. Get your student into the best school! The ones that make the most headlines, no matter the cost.  At the end of the day, is it worth it?

For many families, rich or poor, it’s all about keeping up with the status quo.

WHY I’M NOT SURPRISED!

Maybe I am a bit emotional and biased when discussing this topic. But I have good reasons for this.

You see, I didn’t have the opportunity to go to those schools because I literally failed high school. I wasn’t at all prepared for college. Then I was put on academic probation my first year of college because I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, or even how to get there if I did. I eventually returned to junior college and graduated from Cal State Fullerton. I wasn’t the smartest, and I had to bust my ass off to get through school. So rich people cheating? Yes, that sucks for the rest of us. But to say that hasn’t been happening for decades, then you’re not living in reality. I can name a handful of top colleges that have been fined and suspended for paying their athletes. So are we really that surprised and shocked?

WHAT WE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT

I’ll tell you what the conversation should really be about. It should be about the amount of stress and suicides we are seeing in our youth. The pressure is real.

It concerns me when I see students crying, talking to me about their upcoming AP or SAT tests. What are we doing here? The emphasis on scores doesn’t show the true beauty of our youth and the amazing talent that they have! It has become masked by the drive for high test scores and the stressful need to succeed. Although this is important, their creative expression, which gives them an emotional outlet, becomes eclipsed in the process.

I think our education system is not listening to our students and not educating our parents about what matters. Numbers matter, but to what extent? Numbers don’t tell you if a student has anxiety, is depressed, or going through a range of other personal issues that we all deal with.

Numbers don’t tell you if a student has anxiety, is depressed, or going through a range of other personal issues that we all deal with.

WHAT MATTERS! WHEN WILL THINGS CHANGE?

When budget time rolls around, the first things to go are those creative extracurricular courses and activities that can provide many students the balance and emotional outlet they need to offset the pressure to succeed. For some families, they can supplement this loss by getting their children enrolled in private activities.  For others, their children lose out on a way to express themselves and to let off a little steam from the pressure to be best.   And no matter how much we say that failure is okay, you just need to try, our actions speak differently.

So today I am not surprised nor shocked at the SAT debacle; I am not outraged, but I am left wondering what we will do to change things. What do we do to give those without a voice, without the dollars in their pockets to be successful and live their dreams? Because at a young age, there is a lot of self-doubt. Let’s not fuel that self-doubt by placing scores and schools above the well-being of our children.

What do we do to give those without a voice, without the dollars in their pockets to be successful and live their dreams?

If we don’t find a way to build a child’s confidence and help them understand that there is world of possibilities with the time for them to chase their dreams, then we haven’t really done our jobs, have we?

Co-Founder, Titan Tutors

I am lucky enough to marry the person I met when I was in junior high. She has given me two beautiful children and we, like many other parents, find parenting one of the most challenging things we have faced. After spending 15 years working with kids, and hearing the concerns and struggles that many parents have expressed in raising their kids, I look to share my journey of happiness and struggles, both as a parent and an individual hoping to make my contribution to society.

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