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Vision 2020

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

by Vincent Tran


In 2011, the Board of Education created a standard curriculum for all students in order to achieve higher chances of getting into prestigious colleges. Graduation rates, AP enrollment, and national testing averages increased by a sizable margin. However, the HDI (Human Development Index), ranks the United States as 14th in education.

The San Diego Unified School District has made proposals to further students’ education. SDUSD has created a mission called Vision 2020, which will supposedly “prepare our students for the competitive global economy they will face in the years ahead.” The mission attempts to create an environment for every student to express their creativity and become more active in the classroom.

Despite their efforts, however, I believe their attempt to create a standardized curriculum for every student is not the correct approach. Every student has their own strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Not everyone can go at the same pace, nor can they understand certain subjects at the same skill level. I propose playing to each student’s interests. Each individual learns uniquely, so why should we educate everyone the same? How can you prepare for success using a singular, default method when every individual’s definition is different?

Unlocking one’s imagination towards their own interests can provide a significantly better future than individuals finding a job that everyone has been prepared to do. This can be shown through some of the wealthiest people in the world, such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. If students want to stand out and play a significant role in the future, they have to be able to make something that can change the world. This means that the student has to be able to think independently, creatively, and innovatively, something you can’t do if you think the same as everyone else. In order to start a revolution, one must think differently. One must be able to venture out and expand on their knowledge, not stay confined to some sort of curriculum or standardized learning.

Furthermore, being able to find or create a career that a student enjoys can significantly affect their mental health. Studies have shown, as presented by Forbes, happiness can increase productivity by 20 percent. However, the stress in school environments is an epidemic. Thirty-one percent of high school students have reported feeling overwhelmed, 36 percent losing sleep, and 52 percent felt stress had an impact on their physical health, according to a survey made by Harris Interactive Inc.

There are many ways to teach, and there are many ways to learn. Teachers have already started using ways such as a “flipped” classroom and flexible notes. This allows different types of students to learn in their preferred way. However, this is just the beginning. Students should not have to be confined to learning a specific type of way, but rather at their own pace. Of course, there is no surefire way to get every student to be successful, but including ones who think differently is a positive step forward.

The future of society is unpredictable. It’s difficult to prepare for something that hasn’t occurred yet. I can accept that there has to be lots of trial and error in finding the best methods, and modifications would have to be made constantly. However, very little change has occurred over the last century. However, we can take steps in the right direction. Let students cooperate and complement each other. Let students find a passion and work towards it. Motivate them by inspiring, not by saying the information they receive will be on a test in the following week. Tests should not determine the success of a student. The success of a student shouldn’t be determined by how well they master a standard curriculum, but rather by the courage the student has to chase a career they’re proud of.

You can visit the San Diego Unified School District’s website to learn more about Vision 2020, or contact the district representative, Michael McQuary, directly about your concerns at The voices of every student matter to ensure a better future for the next generation of kids-all of which deserve a proper education.


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