Kortney Ingram


English 101


Altering Academic Performance


What is making students’ academic performance suffer and what are students and schools doing as a resolution? Peer pressure seems to play a large role in how well some students perform. Other students are hindered by the pressures of making so many transitions. Almost all of these students are struggling between social acceptance and getting settled and in turn look to cheating as an answer. Education is being affected by peer pressure, the transitions students’ experience, and the high rates of cheating.

“Will Johnny Get A’s?” by Connie Leslie is about how the influences of friends alter academic performance. Some studies were geared towards race and home life but were found to be the less influential aspects in academic performance. Recently studies have concluded that peer groups hold most influence, even over parents.   I believe peer groups do contribute a lot of influence to academic performance. I also think that the student chooses who he or she companies themselves with and still ultimately hold responsibility for poor performance. Hanging around someone with lower intelligence is not going to impair a student’s learning capabilities. A peer group would only take focus away from school not take away their capability to pay attention and or do the assigned work. I don’t agree that it is the parent’s place to control who their child hangs around. Each child is an individual teach them to be themselves in hopes that they won’t pride themselves on who they hang around and find more time for school.

“A Difficult Transition” by Diette Courrege focuses on the difficulties teens experience in their transition into high school. A lot of freshmen feel many pressures when entering high school. Some pressures from the need to fit in, and some from the higher expectations in the class room. Freshman year for all students determines a lot in their high school careers. While some schools forced failing students to alternative schools to save suffering scores, others put more effort into struggling students.         Freshman year is the most stressful time in any student’s life. Not only do you make a transition to a new school, but male or female chances are your body and perception of life has changed drastically over the last summer. Freshmen have new priorities and most of the time with teens’ top priority is looking good and fitting in. School seems to get harder for most students because they cannot concentrate on both not because expectations are higher. Students on any level are always expected to do their homework, pay attention, and study for tests. The students that can’t get their priorities straight become seen as a bad score or disciplinary problem. These students are sent to an alternative school with fewer rules, more privileges, and a lot more time to goof off.

            “Why Do Students Cheat?” by Eli H Newberger M.D. is about the large quantity of students that cheat and what motives are to blame. A large amount of students claim to have cheated in one way or another. Students also said that the chances of being caught were very slim so it wasn’t much of a risk to make the grade. Many students claim that college motivates them to cheat in fear of unexceptance into top colleges due to low grade averages. Other surveys show that lack of time to focus on school work due to jobs or family problems motivates students is so common almost all students turn their heads when a fellow classmate cheats. Surveys show only few students could object and not be hypocritical. Cheating is easy and every student has done it to some extent. It is easier to cheat now that technology has advanced, cell phones make it easy to exchange answers, and advanced calculators allow answers to be saved and brought up at any time. The pressures and reminders of the difficulties to be accepted to college are very numerous. Some students run from morning till night and only leave time for cramming before class. The student will get a better grade in either circumstance if they cheat, so most do. Other students don’t mind and a lot of times and even help fellow classmates cheat, either because they have been there before or know the chances of them being in the same position are high and know they might one day need to ask for a favor.

            Many aspects of student life contribute to each of their individual performances in the class room. Whether it is friends, climbing the social latter, or finding a new way to cheat, we see these academic problems persistently. Although there is not a clear solution a student’s performance is directly reflected by how confident they are as an individual and how dedicated they are to their education.