According to The Center for Public Education, most high school require between 175 and 180 days of school and/or between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year. So that means in four years you would spend about 700 to 720 days totaling to an average of 3,800 hours in high school before you graduate. In more populated state the amount of hours increase to an average of a little over a thousand per year. We spend almost 4,000 hours in high school so what exactly are we doing with all this time to prepare student for the future.
Do you think we should have homework in high school? At first, the idea of having students not doing homework sound like something a lazy scholar would say but is homework effective or necessary. Like I stated earlier students already are required at the very least 3,800 hours before graduating. To put that into prospective if you worked that much a year at minimum wage you would be at around 8,500 dollars per year. As an adult just think about all the thing you could accomplish if 8 hours of 5 of your days were dedicated to learning, you could learn several skills for most job training. So like I said earlier taking up more of a student’s time will not make them smarter if the time is not used properly.
2. Reading & Writing Levels
In 2015, 37% of twelfth-grade students performed at or above the Proficient achievement level in reading. There is one thing high school should teach you before you graduate, and that is how to reading and write. Most people would agree that if you cannot read and write to a certain level you should not be able to graduate. However that is not the case most students are nowhere near what they should be in their reading. I have seen this myself in my own high school where people walked across the stage but I know they would struggle to finish a one page essay. Knowing all the rules of grammar by heart is unnecessary but you should be able to communicate you thoughts in your writing as well.
3. Presenting Lies as History
There are many issues our educational system faces. One of these issues is the way we presents the information to them. For example, one of the biggest lies we were taught in school was about Christopher Columbus. We have proclaimed for generations that he discovered the Americas but then are given information that contradicts that theory. There were already people living there? You cannot discover something that is already being used. Everyone knows this yet we are still presenting a false image of how the nation was found. The scope of history taught in school is also way too limited. There are many events that have taken place that should be cover in classes but are not. Teaching about the same events in history over and over does not help anyone.
4. The No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left behind Act was created during the Bush administration in hopes to boost our educational system. In theory, the idea behind making the legislation sounded like a good plan but it was a failure. Instead of trying to educate the students more we actually did the exact opposite. Students that could do work up to standards were ignored and students that did not have the level of education they needed were pushed through. Also teachers were required to teach students how to be better test takers. I remember having whole days dedicated to knowing how to take test better so you could play the odds of doing well even if you did not know the answer. So instead of trying to make students more educated the government decided we just need to appear to be doing better which actually hindered the students learning experiences. Knowing how to take a test will never be a job skill and should not be a focus in any school system.
5. Learning a Second Language
Why are we not adapting to the rest of the world? In basically every major nation the students learn to speak more than one language. These classes often start during middle school or sooner. Yet in America it is only required to take 2 years in high school. Because of this, it is very unlikely that any of the students will retain any of the language they may had learn. Only knowing how to speak one language closes us off from the rest of the world along with many great opportunities because we cannot communicate ourselves unless someone translate for us or only speak to people who know English. The system of having a second language taught in high school only is out of date. There was a point in time when America and Britain was the lead so everyone learned to speak English in other nations but that is no longer the case. The world is globalizing and if we can only communicate in one way we will continue to fall back because most people do not want to work with people that cannot talk to them because it is frustrating. Even our government recognized this in 2003 which led to developing the National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC) to endorse language learning and recruiting translators to serve military and national security needs. The year 2003 was over a decade ago yet we have not made much progress since then.
6. The Types of People That are Hired
There are a lot of people that should not be teachers. Teacher are not only presenting the youth with knowledge, but their personal views as well. This can affect how a class is run causing certain students to be judge more than others. The personality type of a person should be a great factor in whether they should teach or not. I know I am sick and tired of seeing cases of students being physically or sexually harass by their teachers. This needs to stop. Sadly though until teachers are paid the way they should be this is very unlikely to happen. If you are not willing to pay people way they deserve then the result will be what is happening right now, you will hire people that should not be hired because you cannot afford the good ones.
7. Life Skills
High School does not prepare you for life, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. We have a perfect opportunity to teach children when they grow up how to provide for themselves yet we do not use it? There are things people need to know how to do that no one is teaching how to do for example:
1. Taxes? 2. How to get a Drivers’ License?
3.When you should start applying for college?
4.When you should start applying for scholarships? 5. How to vote?
8. Job Training
Another thing schools seem to ignore is the fact that not everyone should go to college straight out of high school. There is nothing wrong with not going to college. First of all it is expensive and many fail there first semester because they did not have the skill level they should had received in high school to be prepared for college. Instead they need to start considering advocating job training in high school so students can prepare for a route that will not involve going for thousands of dollars in loans. Having a skills can led to other chances in the future for college once you know what you want. There is nothing wrong with taking your time to get a college degree instead of going right out of high school when most people cannot even decide what their major should be.
9. School Dress Code
We should not be telling children how to dress themselves in public high school. If you cannot trust a high school student to dress themselves properly then we have hit rock bottom. Yes, some people like to expose themselves more than others but in the end they are underage and the only real problem with that is the people looking at them in a sexual way. Also, the market for school clothes is almost a scam. Most school outfits are not made of comfortable material which a student is expected to wear for hours 5 times a week. These clothes are not cheap, they waste parent’s money when they could just dress themselves like normal instead of having to buy clothes just for school each year.
10. Bathroom Breaks
It is childish to have people who are over the age of 15 to ask for bathroom breaks. Most students are 18 when they graduate meaning they are old enough to smoke, join the army, drive, and take out loans. Forcing people who are trying to become adults to ask for bathroom breaks just does not make sense.
These are 10 problems I have with the current educational system for the U.S.