As I finished reading 'The Global Achievement Gap' by Tony Wagner, I constructed a few thoughts of my own concerning the US school system that does not prepare students as global citizens who can compete in the realities of life against productive, mature students of India, China, Finland, etc.
I really don't think in the first place the system is that bad, as I worked in the school where accommodations were made to meet the majority of students' needs, and it was a public school, but improvement is always important and possible on any level. I do think that assessments are important, as teachers need to be held accountable for their students' results, as a matter of fact, students need to have basics, such as successful passing of the high school assessments indicate the student's ability to produce on a necessary level for high school, ready to graduate with that minimum of skills underlined in the assessments. We don't imply that those assessments are organized to prepare students for college, and they are not intended as assessments for college and career readiness. However, another system needs to be put in place to get students ready for college and career.
I do think that counseling in high school is very important. My opinion is that each student needs to be assigned to at least two academic advisors, that are going to observe the student and work on students' career and college readiness. There are students that have a good support group at their homes and a good influence, but the majority of students in the USA do not have that privilege. That's why we have to put more responsibility on counseling. Guidance counselors need to work with students closely, regularly communicating the issues and concerns, trying to build trust with the student and with the student's teacher. Teachers need to know their students very well from the counselor's standpoint, that means clear and often communication between teachers and guidance counselors must be established. If dealing with at-risk students, counselors need to attend students' classes, observing the atmosphere, coming with the input on students' behavior and academics. The more work and communication is going to be put in relationship between teachers and counselors, the more success will be achieved for the students.
Students need to have assessments to indicate their successful completion of high school, however, students need to have a good guidance in school - guidance counselor as a parent, as a therapist, as a building block for the student between high school and a career.
I do agree that the system dictates its laws to teachers, and sometimes the validity of the laws seems incoherent, however, there should be a system that measures students' achievements over the school years, and testing is important. In order for students to have a clear direction after high school, more people need to be involved in counseling. It would also eliminate multiple behavior issues, as being followed and communicated to, students feel more supported and motivated in their every day routine.