A middle school teacher voiced his frustrations with the public school system after admitting that most of the students in his class are severely underperforming. In a TikTok video, a content creator named Quis, who works as a public school educator, sparked a conversation around a problem that many students around the country seem to having.
He said most of his students are performing at a fourth-grade level despite being in the seventh grade.
“We all know the world is behind because of the pandemic, but I don’t understand why they’re not stressing to you how bad it is,” Quis began in his video. He explained that as a seventh-grade teacher, he’s noticed that most of the children in his class are performing at a fourth-grade level.
He continued, saying that almost no one, the other public school administrators or even the parents of these kids are not speaking about it or doing anything to help. Instead, these students are still being passed on to the next grade despite severely underperforming.
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“I can put as many zeroes in this grade book as I want to, they’re gonna move that child to the eighth grade next year,” he pointed out. “Why don’t y’all know that your kids are not performing on a great level?”
Quis explained that many parents are quick to point the blame at the teacher, but there’s only so much that he can do. At the end of the day, it’s up to the parents to notice that their children are underperforming and either fight for their education or speak with higher-ups to get them held back until they understand the material and are ready to move on to the next grade.
“The fourth grade is being nice. I still have kids performing on grade K, one, two, and third-grade levels. I could probably count on one hand how many kids are actually performing on their grade level,” Quis added. “Are you joking right now? These are our future leaders, future doctors, and future nurses. Our future.”
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The pandemic had a lasting effect on both the public school system and children’s education due to the missed time in classrooms.
One of the most significant aspects of the pandemic for children came after the closing of schools and the transition to online learning. Because of that, many students struggled to adapt to online learning and the loss of interactive learning that came from being in a classroom.
According to a paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, students lost out on about 35% of a normal year’s worth of learning when in-person school was stopped.
“Children still have not recovered the learning that they lost out on at the start of the pandemic,” Bastian Betthäuser, an author of the paper and researcher told CNN. “Education inequality between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds increased during the pandemic. So the learning crisis is an equality crisis. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds were disproportionately affected by school closures.”
For Black and Hispanic students, virtual learning sets them back greater than their white counterparts. According to the 2020 Census data, about 1 in 10 Black and Latinx homes lacked consistent computer access, compared to only 6.7% of white households. Many of these Black and Hispanic children had a harder time accessing online classroom materials, homework, or virtual classes.
Therefore, many of the students who were engaged during online learning were able to bounce back to in-person learning with no problems, while the other students who struggled to keep up with their virtual lessons during the pandemic have continued to struggle as they also congregated back inside the classrooms.
Qusi’s frustration highlights the same feeling that many teachers around the country have also been dealing with and the bleak reality that so many of these children are falling behind at high rates. As he mentioned in his video, these kids are the future, and we need to do better and invest time and effort in their education if they are truly underperforming.
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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.
This article originally appeared on YourTango