Student disengagement in the classroom setting is not a new issue.  It has been occurring for years, but the problem has not been addressed directly.  Right now, large discussions surround issues such as how to improve students’ test scores, or how to make schools better in general, all in attempts to label more students as successful learners.  The real problem underlying this idea is that students today feel unmotivated to do their work, which is partially due to the lack of relevance they see in the curriculum to real life.  As in this cartoon, students feel that their interests, both in extracurricular activities and potential careers, are not tied to what goes on inside the walls of a K-12 school.  I believe that school faculty, families, and other members of the community can help students become engaged critical thinkers by encouraging them to strive for excellence and connecting what they learn to the students’ interests.