Eye Opener [Blog] – Generation Justice

On Monday July 25, 2011 Generation Justice invited me to attend an interactive discussion at the KNME Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This presentation was titled “Through Our Eyes:Youth Stories That Incite Hope” and we discussed the dropout crisis in New Mexico. While there I learned many shocking and upsetting facts, but we also discussed solutions. I also had the chance to tell my story about the challenges I faced in the education system and how I overcame those challenges.

One of the most upsetting facts that I learned at this presentation was that 77 New Mexican students drop out of high school every day. That fact to me should be an eye opener to everyone and show that we need to find solutions to help students stay in school.

Being a student with a disability I understand many of the hardships faced by students everyday. Class sizes overcrowded leaving students with minimal or no time at all to receive help from a teacher. Not having resources in the classroom to help students learn the way that it best fit for their individual needs.

The first priority should be teaching students in the best possible way, and instead of making budget cuts in the classroom or laying off teachers, which cause students to suffer, we should be looking at other areas that don’t directly affect students. Cutting from the classroom should be the very last resort, and once we start doing that many students would stay in school.

I believe there is a big drop out rate because students feel that they are not being taught according to their needs and expectations.  Some students are not seeing why what they are learning is important. Also, there is not enough communication between individual students and their teachers.We do have a crisis when our state, New Mexico, is 48th in the nation for dropouts. We need to solve this crisis. In order to solve it we need to make classroom sizes smaller and also keep money in the classroom, instead of cutting resources in the classroom. I believe that’s why some charter schools are succeeding because of the small classroom sizes and they can spend more time engaging students to fit the way they learn.It makes me upset to know students feel the need to dropout, but I understand there are circumstances that lead to that decision and schools need to be more responsive to students needs and feelings and help them succeed in the best way possible. I hope that we can help students get the best education so they have a bright future.by: Victor Torres