We have the right to a quality education.
There is no standard way of learning, therefore teaching to pass the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests does not teach students how to learn, how to gain knowledge, or how to put their knowledge into practice. Projects and practicums are better tools for assessing learning than are SOL tests.
Students need to be taught at their level and challenged to reach the next level, not be forced to sit with other students through lessons below or above their capabilities. This sets them up for failure and leads them to drop out of high school.
We need to move away from rote memory and toward a holistic approach and hands-on application. We need to offer more career classes in middle and high schools to allow students to discover their interests and passions and enhance their skills so they can embark on a career path, and possibly start their own local small business, that will sustain their independence.