by Roman King | U.S.
High school, as much as some people may lament it, is how many American teens will peak in their educational careers; therefore it would be within everybody’s best interest that high schools would promote and teach higher learning, career preparation, and goal setting as best as they possibly could. They would, logically, promote individual thinking, intellectualism, and be flexible as to allow each individual student to pursue specific careers that they themselves wish to pursue. Despite all of this, the American high school, in general, is not a place of adequate career preparation and promotion of self and the individual, but a place where federal standards made to teach students how to pass a test are placed higher in priority than any of the above positive objectives; a place where students are treated as future factory workers and not individuals with their own life goals; a place where students are forced to waste precious time taking classes that will almost certainly not apply to their desired career path.
The rigidity and lack of customization in the average high school stage of education is concerning and more akin to that of a middle school or even grade school environment; this is unacceptable as a method of preparing teens for the real world. Grade and middle schools are unmoving and stagnant because they are intended to teach general knowledge and self-control during a child’s most impressionable times, but high school is — or at least should be — a completely different ballpark altogether. High school should be the place where students get the liberty of fine tuning their education, but instead it forces future historians to waste hours upon hours of their educational careers learning algebra instead of spending that time on additional, more fine tuned history classes; forces future mathematicians to waste precious time that could be used to study formulae on learning about literary works that will do nothing to progress their ability to calculate numbers and rationalize mathematical concepts; forces future journalists to spend a not-insignificant portion of their academic career learning about scientific concepts they will never use instead of using that time to learn more of the humanities and the social studies. The entire public schooling system makes the mistake of assuming all children and teenagers are the same, but high school is the most offensive and egregious manifestation of this attitude. The current high school system almost guarantees that nearly three-fourths of the information taught will be nigh useless to whatever career any student would choose. The high school system does an absolutely terrible job of preparing students for the real world; instead, it almost forces them to instead shell out tens of thousands of dollars to go to a college to get an education that could have already been achieved had the education system been crafted properly. Perhaps if students weren’t forced to spend their time on extremely vague and general courses just to graduate, students could actually enter the workforce and/or the college ranks with critical and applicable skills in specific fields.
To make matters even worse for everybody, federal curriculums put in place by misguided bureaucrats have done nothing but further the static nature of American high schools; curriculums like Common Core force teachers to teach their students to pass a standardized test instead of teaching to help students achieve a higher level of learning. This combination of a lack of class choice and federal over legislation is why American high school students, by most academic benchmarks, lag behind students in other first-world countries. The American high school system is woefully inadequate when it comes to the furthering of academic achievement, and if American society is to grow and continue to foster the ideas of individuality and high intellect, the public education systems must be the first place to see massive reform, lest our best and brightest students continue to be prepared for cubicle and factory work as opposed to greatness.