If students are not prepared for class, whether lacking a pencil or a piece of paper, teachers can mark their citizenship and academic grades down on a day-to-day basis. However, if the school administration is not prepared to provide their students with the proper scholastic tools, then they feel little to no effect, regardless of whether or not classrooms are unprepared to appropriately teach their students.
Parents may protest at district board meetings, teachers may complain to a higher power and students may criticize their educational standards to one another, it is questionable if there is any progress made outside of spending money on costly items such as iPads to compensate for a lack of proper materials. As an academic institution that prepares high school students for life outside of education, Bonita Vista High, like all other schools, has the responsibility to provide their faculty with appropriate and up-to-date tools that enhance the learning environment, not damage it. State budgets do not permit for flippant spending on relatively every scholarly necessity, however the careful consideration for the reallocation of our school funding is a must when students do not even have the proper textbooks for their curriculum studies.
Programs like the International Baccalaureate require additional attention due to their rigor and expensive funding that provide students with a more well-rounded education that pushes them to “become responsible members of local, national and global communities,” as stated in the IB learner profile. The critical standards of the diverse IB curriculum do not permit for AP books to be taught from, due to their different teaching methods and information.
As we are already in the second month of this school year, miniscule issues such as lacking the necessary materials to effectively learn a course’s mandatory curriculum, regardless of grade, should be resolved. Although many do not see this lack of textbooks and other written materials to have a negative, long-term impact, it is still a short-term issue with quick solutions. If a student cannot begin to do their homework or study for the AP/IB testing in May due to the lack of in-depth explanations that only an up-to-date textbook can map out, then there lies the primary issue. According to AP/IB Coordinator Jared Phelps, “The book that we have [for IB Biology] is out of date and so it’s not usable.”
Although supplementary resources, such as the internet, are a fountain of knowledge – wealthy in sources and answers – they will never compare with the direct availability of a textbook. The internet provides an unlimited amount of information that does not guarantee credibility and does not guarantee legitimacy. Concrete materials that students can have at their fingertips are the responsibility of the school to provide.