Two students share their experiences with urban education

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    Check out the Skiff’s full report on urban education

    Carolyn Castellanos
    Sophomore, engineering major
    High school: Diamond Hill-Jarvis

    One of the major differences between the high school that I went to and the high schools that my peers went to was definitely the attitude of the students. I hear about how other high schools worked, and I feel like my high school worked the same way. However, since Diamond Hill is in a less privileged community, the attitude of the students is significantly different. At Diamond Hill, most students don’t really care about going to college. This attitude affects the way teachers do their job. I had some teachers who were brilliant, but since the students didn’t care to learn, I feel like they had to lower their standards for us.

    Filicia Hernandez
    Sophomore, criminal justice major
    High school: Diamond Hill-Jarvis

    I actually attended Diamond Hill-Jarvis my junior and senior year after previously attending Birdville High School my freshman and sophomore years. I have firsthand experience of education at high schools with very different economic demographics. I certainly believe the education – or lack of education – was very different than that of a high schooler in a higher income-demographic area. At Birdville, for example, the majority of the school was middle- to upper-class middle income with an emphasis on sports, extracurricular activities, parent involvement and academia – with a strong college focus. Diamond Hill was not quite there. Due to No Child Left Behind, students were force-fed a simplistic academic meal consisting of basic, almost elementary, English, (and) little to no math and science. And I think the school offered a total of five AP courses. Part of the day was going to AP calculus, where the few seniors in the class were given sudoku puzzles to play with while the juniors filled out TAKS math worksheets. Since then, at TCU, I have had to retake calculus three times. Most of the teachers were under-qualified, given topics to teach that they had never studied before and weren’t provided the resources they needed to efficiently teach the material, even if they did know about it.