With the topic of public education I think there are many things that could be said. Instead of focusing on the inequality between the inner-city schools and the more privileged areas such as the one we are in, I will talk about the archaic methods that the current system teaches. When thinking about the public school system I feel like I have a well rounded view. I have attended a smaller religious centered school, a prep type school, and a public school. Having experienced all these different types of schools has enabled me to compare and contrast the methods and direction of each system. One thing that I believe should be addressed when talking about public education is the following: What is the goal of educating our students?
In the inner city it may be in the hope that the students will graduate and make better choices in order that they may put themselves in a better situation than they were born into. But, for the other schools in and around this area the answer should be much different. It is assumed by the faculty that about 96% of all graduates will attend a four year institution after graduation. With so many students moving on to higher education, there is still a blanket of knowledge that is completely unnecessary.
High school tries to be a time where students can take control of their schedules but only in the electives. In "core" classes (core as in least useful in the professional world) the system has a standard hierarchy of classes that must be checked off the list. Teachers complain when students ask " When will I ever have to use this?", but it indeed is a relevant question that has been swept under the rug for far too long. In today's world we live in a world where information easily flows. Any questions can be found within the arm's reach of an iPhone. Some private prep schools have begun to embrace technology but the public system has yet to test such learning techniques as simple as putting all school necessities on a laptop. People are afraid of change but sometimes change is a good thing. If we can't retool the entire system yet then fine. But the one area that should gain more attention is the area of business and finance. Just try to name a job that does not involve business at some point or another! Although there are a few profession that do not require business skills but marketing, accounting, finance, and business administration will continue to dominate all other majors in sheer numbers. But if not everyone is involved in business everyone has money. The sad truth is that today the only person who is teaching kids how to manage money is their parents. Ask a bunch of high school students about the stock market and how to set up a diverse and safe retirement portfolio and they will give you blank stares. Because this crucial skill is not taught it is taking heavy tolls on our citizens and the economy. Out of college young people know very little about their money. They do not save it but start getting into debt. Finally in their thirties they might wake up, call to Clark Howard to save them, and start to save for retirement. But they have lost valuable time. There close to a million dollar difference from the person who starts to save when they are 20 and the person who starts at 30( Rich Dad and Poor Dad Kiyosaki).
If financial literacy was taught in schools the growth seen across the nation would be extraordinary! Why do you think that the rich stay rich? It's because they are learning from people that are financially literate and know what to do with their money. Although the current high school educational system is frankly mostly a waste of time, people are not ready for a total gutting of the system. But if can't reinvent the whole system then there must be a strong influence on finance. It's the one skill everyone needs but somehow gets neglected over "core" classes such as calculus. 'nough said.