Educational System Human Sacrifices: The Forgotten Reality of Modern Education

Human sacrifice has long been part of many cultures throughout history. Although its use has been virtually eradicated in many parts of the world today, there is a form of human sacrifice that continues in the modern world: sacrifices of students and teachers to the pressures of an educational system often focused on performance, competition, and conformity. This article will discuss the various forms of human sacrifice in modern schools, the societal consequences, as well as potential solutions for creating more equitable educational environments.

The Rise of Performance-Oriented Schools

One of the most common forms of educational human sacrifice involves individual students attempting to live up to the expectations of the school system. In the United States, educational policy in recent decades has heavily emphasized competition and performance for both students and schools. This shift towards a market-oriented, standards-focused model of education has placed immense pressure on students to excel in test performance, as well as in top-tier colleges. As assessment results are increasingly linked to educational funding, school staff and administrators are also feeling the pressure to focus on performance rather than a more holistic approach to learning.

This focus on performance has led to an increasing number of students at risk of being overlooked or left behind, especially those from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in education. In addition, those students who may have social or behavioral issues often find themselves ill-served by the pressure and lack of non-academic supports in many schools.

The Impact of High-Stakes Testing

One of the main consequences of a performance-focused education has been the widespread use of high-stakes tests, such as the SAT and ACT, to determine student placement and educational funding. High-stakes testing places tremendous pressure on students to succeed, often at the cost of their personal interests and social and emotional needs. This pressure can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, especially for students from backgrounds without sufficient resources to prepare for the tests.

The pressure of these high-stakes tests also leads to a focus on rote memorization and an overall reduction in critical thinking and creativity in education. As students are trained to focus mainly on the test and not on engaging with a subject matter on a deeper level, they are not able to explore new ideas or become inspired to pursue independent research. This focus on performance has also led to an increasing prevalence of cheating and other unethical behavior in schools, as students attempt to outdo their peers to gain an unfair advantage.

Sacrifices of Teachers and Staff

Another form of human sacrifice in education that is often overlooked is the struggles of teachers and staff under the pressure of an educational system focused mainly on performance. In many cases, teachers and staff are asked to work long hours in order to meet the growing demands of the system, such as increased paperwork and accountability. In addition, these educators often bear the brunt of parental frustrations as well as the difficult behavior of students who are feeling the pressure of performing in an environment focused mainly on testing.

The lack of adequate support for teachers and staff in the face of such demands can lead to burnout and increase the risk of depression and other mental health issues. Such excessive stress may also lead to a decrease in job satisfaction, a lack of commitment to the job, and in some cases, leaving the educational field altogether.

Educational Equity

As discussed above, a performance-focused approach to education can have numerous negative repercussions both for students and teachers alike. The question, then, is how can we ensure educational equity and ensure all students have access to a quality education while avoiding the pitfalls of an overemphasis on performance?

One solution is to create a more holistic approach to learning and assessment, focusing on the development of the whole student and their social, emotional, and academic needs. This could involve integrating a greater variety of assessment methods and learning experiences into the curriculum, including group project work, real-world problem solving, and experiential learning activities. It could also involve revising the way in which schools are assessed and funded to take into account social and emotional factors.

Modern education often demands more from its students and staff than was ever intended. This pressure can lead to a form of human sacrifice, with students and educators alike being pushed to the brink of their limits in order to live up to expectations of performance and conformity. We must create a more equitable educational system in order to ensure no student or educator is forgotten due to the pressures of modern education. By shifting to a more holistic approach to learning and assessment, we can ensure all students have access to a quality education, free from excessive pressure to conform to a performance-oriented system.