Day 4 – High Standards for Students: Tough but Fair

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office ofoverseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.An overseer, then, must be above reproach.
– 1 Timothy 3:1-2

In the church, the higher the office you desire to achieve in ministry, the higher the standards you must hold yourself to. This is no different for students who desire to do great things for God, particularly when those great things require higher levels of education.

A set of clear and consistent high educational standards has been adopted by nearly every state in America. These standards are designed to prepare students for college, the workforce, and life. They are tough, yes, but they are also fair.

High expectations can make all the difference for students. Neither of my parents completed high school, but they knew the power of a good education and made it clear that they expected me to work hard and complete my studies. College was an expectation, not just a dream. They made education a priority for our family, spoke to me about my studies and my progress nearly every day, and taught me the incredible wonder of learning something new. Their high expectations opened a whole new world of opportunity for me.

Unfortunately, being held to high standards is not the reality for all students at home or in the classroom. I visited many high school classrooms where students who were “college material” were directed to honors and AP classes and students in “less rigorous” classes were often simply watching videos or having empty “group discussions.” Once I began teaching college-level English, I met many students who were not adequately prepared for the rigors of college study. They had been passed from grade to grade, but they never really learned the material they needed to be successful in college. The expectations had been set too low, and they were missing out and not prepared for learning opportunities that their peers were enjoying.

Let us pray that this pattern of social promotion and a lack of preparation be broken now. No longer will we have one standard for children living in wealthy suburbs and another for students in the heart of our largest cities. No longer will we have one set of standards for “college bound” students and another for students “destined for the workforce.” Instead, let us pray and work to see that all students be held to higher and equal standards which will challenge them and prepare them for not only real-life and academic success, but the places of influence God has called them to.

– Dr. Carlos Campo