Esther Cepeda: Our non-elite students remain unchallenged

Esther Cepeda:

If you live in an affluent community with a high-performing school district and are familiar with the pressure-cooker environment of endless test-prepping, extracurricular overload and early resume-building that students endure in their quest to get into elite colleges, you probably laughed at a recent report saying many students believe their schools are not sufficiently challenging them.
If, like me, you live in a community struggling with high rates of poverty, or one where state budget cuts have reduced the schools to shadows of their former selves, you know full well that the report — “Do Schools Challenge Our Students?” — produced by the Center for American Progress has a painful ring of truth to it.
The findings represent the everyday experiences of students stuck in less-than-high-performing schools, where enrichment opportunities such as field trips or in-school presentations are few, where gym, music and art classes are often a distant memory, and where boredom is a constant complaint.