Recently, a girl from my hometown went missing. It has been postulated that she decided to leave home because she was disappointed with her academic performance on a recent assignment.
Whether or not that is true, and there is speculation that she did not, in fact, leave home because of her performance, this disappearance comes in tandem with recent press surrounding the local high school, which took preventative measures against high levels of student stress surrounding academic performance.
The West-Windsor Plainsboro Administration decided to lower standards in the music program, cut advanced placement programming, limit student access to summer courses, and eliminate midterms and finals for high school and middle school students in order to minimize student stress.
The community had a mixed response to these measures.
A New York Times article brought national attention to the idea that those who sided with the administration's measures were almost all white whilst those who opposed the measures were mostly Asian-American. The Administrations' actions have thus brought to light racial tensions within the community.
A New York Post article highlighted the racial tensions involved and railed against the trend of deemphasizing academic performance. Although both articles noted the problematic nature of "holistic" standards for success, especially in perpetuating the systematic oppression of Asian-Americans, the New York Post article neglected to acknowledge that the students at West Windsor-Plainsboro students have voiced stress concerns.
As I outlined in this facebook post, I don't believe my hometown is justified in trying to rectify the mental health problems within the community without acknowledging the opinions of Asian-Americans. We can not even begin to endeavor to change if we do not consider the Asian-American members of our community. The academic environment in West Windsor is in dire need of change.
As the Times mentions, a school district in Palo Alto, that has a similar high-stakes academic environment, resolved to make
We need to make an effective change before it is too late because the student members of our community are at risk and too valuable to lose.