Former assistant principal provides retrospective look at education
The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a great schism in this country “Hawks” and Doves,” those who supported and those who opposed the Vietnam War.
The Civil Rights Movement was in its infancy and caused great conflict between races at both the national and local levels. America was struggling in its effort to overcome its racial past.
Led by college age youth, known as “hippies” and “flower children,” anti-establishment was a newly coined word.
Protests, marches, sit-ins and street battles were common occurrences that closed some college and universities, fostered disrespect for military personnel, divided families and gave birth to the drug culture that we deal with yet today. All of this worked its way down to the high schools, especially in college towns.
In 1969, I became an associate principal at Wooster High School, then housed in the present Cornerstone building and these were some of the problem I faced. Trying to be fair to all sides, while keeping order, and at the same time, administering an outstanding academic program was a difficult task.
By the mid 1970s, the war wound down and the divides lessened. Normalcy began to return, and high school again became as it is today.
Today’s academics are more difficult and so much testing has increased pressure to perform.
Courses are introduced at much lower grade levels. However, students who struggle get more attention and help. Perhaps the biggest change is that blackboards and chalk have been replaced by smart boards, computers, iPads, smart phones and all sorts of electronics.
As difficult as it is for today’s high school students to realize, their grandparents were concerned with Homecoming, Prom dates, clothing fads, grades, making teams and squads, zits, braces, boy/girl friends and fitting in.
Clothing styles and car models have changed, and Grandma and Grandpa have wrinkles and white hair, but only a few years ago, they were having much the same high school experiences as today’s students.