Public School Reforms Essay

1806 words - 7 pages

Public schooling systems today are hindering, rather than helping, the creativity and individuality of high school-aged students who are looking not only for their future, but for themselves as well. What needs to be changed in order for students to get the most from their high school education? Much research has gone into this, resulting in differing opinions, multiple methods of change, and thousands of other questions. Some researchers feel that too much class time is spent forcing students to learn advanced science, math, and language arts; others believe that these same classes should be the main focus of schools in order to increase intelligence. This begs the question of how to measure the intelligence of students in order to find what they need as an individual. Is there a way to measure how capable an individual is? There are thousands of different types of intelligence, so how does one label the intellectual capacity of anyone by using a number-based system? Those being tested by these defective methods are going to become the leaders of their country and must learn how to effectively do so. Education must be reformed in order to secure the future of the United States of America.
As time goes by, American citizens find themselves conforming to society and molding to the changes surrounding them. Why, then, are education systems remaining as they were hundreds of years ago? In his book The Element, Dr. Ken Robinson points out that the current systems of education were designed in “times that were dominated by the Industrial Revolution in Europe and America” (13). This refers back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, approximately 300 years ago. Basic skills in math, science, and language were essential for finding jobs in those times, but they are now less valued by businesses than such things as people skills, common sense, and creativity. Many successful individuals were once deemed unintelligent by their teachers and peers because of their lack of basic academic skills. Paul McCartney was one of these unfortunate students. Although he is now known as a brilliant musician, he “went through his entire education without anyone noticing that he had any musical talent at all” (Robinson 11). Perhaps this is because teachers and administrators focus most of their time and energy on science, math, and language skills, leaving the arts with close to no recognition or importance.
Students who wish to focus on or go into the arts are being forced to take core classes that will in no way benefit their future. All high schools are requiring advanced classes in three main subjects (math, science, and language) in order for students to be considered intelligent enough to graduate. For various pupils, this is the education they need for the future they have planned for themselves. Others, however, have no need of these advanced skills in order to pursue their goals. Are pre-calculus and advanced biology going to help a song writer in any...

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