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Why Do We Care?
We care because schools nowadays, including the school we got to, Frederick Douglass Academy II, fails to successfully prepare students for college and life. The students at our school have not had the same experience as the students at Harlem Prep. The reason why we believe this is due to the simple fact that the educators at our school have alternative objectives when it comes to caring for the students and helping them prepare themselves for college. One thing that concerns us students is that most of the students in our "12th grade" class aren’t graduating but we have a B in our quality review. (In New York City, the Department of Eduaction provides a grade based on various characteristics of the school). We believe that this is not an accurate description of our school's quality. Comparing our quality grade to our perspective of our school, we believe that the faculty cares more about our "grade" than our future. Unlike our school, Harlem Prep was not as focused with school reputation but rather, they cared about the success of their students. The objective of teaching in Harlem Prep was to apply their academic principles in real-life situations. Teachers also show that they care about students by teaching them as equals. Students were also attracted to Harlem Prep because the school was always inviting.
Another reason why we care about Harlem Prep is because the school allowed the students more freedom than what we have today. Not only did they give the students more freedom, they trusted the students with this freedom. If schools today were to adopt this method of allowing their students to pick and choose their classes, maybe students will be more engaged and interested in school. Based on the interviews we have concluded that an effective educational institution requires efforts from both teachers and students. The teachers have to make an effort to interest the students and the students have to make an effort to learn. Schools can implement Harlem Prep’s system by offering a large variety of courses and allowing students to choose classes that interest them. Another way more schools can be like Harlem Prep is by lowering the consequences of a school’s poor quality review. It is the students that end up suffering the most when the teachers are being fired or are being forced to teach in a certain way that they may not be comfortable with. Therefore we care about Harlem Prep because it shows us what an effective and successful learning environment is.