The United States has long been a top destination for international students worldwide, and it’s not hard to see why. Earlier this month, the Program for International Student Assessment announced that the performance of American teenagers in reading and math has been stagnant since 2000. Other recent studies revealed that two-thirds of American children were not proficient readers, and that the achievement gap in reading between high and low performers is widening. We asked students to weigh in on these findings and to tell us their suggestions for how they would improve the American education system. Our prompt received nearly 300 comments. This was clearly a subject that many teenagers were passionate about. They offered a variety of suggestions on how they felt schools could be improved to better teach and prepare students for life after graduation. While we usually highlight three of our most popular writing prompts in our Current Events Conversation, this week we are only rounding up comments for this one prompt so we can honor the many students who wrote in. Please note: Student comments have been lightly edited for length, but otherwise appear as they were originally submitted. Put less pressure on students. One of the biggest flaws in the American education system is the amount of pressure that students have on them to do well in school, so they can get into a good college. Because students have this kind of pressure on them they purely focus on doing well rather than actually learning and taking something valuable away from what they are being taught. — Jordan Brodsky, Danvers, MA As a Freshman and someone who has a tough home life, I can agree that this is one of the main causes as to why I do poorly on some things in school. I have been frustrated about a lot that I am expected to learn in school because they expect us to learn so much information in such little time that we end up forgetting about half of it anyway. The expectations that I wish that my teachers and school have of me is that I am only human and that I make mistakes. Don’t make me feel even worse than I already am with telling me my low test scores and how poorly I’m doing in classes.