The Blue and White

High schools need more effective classes to prepare students for future

Kacey Noesworthy, Staff Writer

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The students have graduated.

They walked across the stage.

Diplomas have been received.

However, this accomplishment in high school still leaves students unprepared for the road ahead.

Public high schools in the United States do not have enough required classes in their curriculum to efficiently prepare students for college. Amna Ijaz, a writer for Study Breaks Magazine stated, “while 82 percent were graduating, only around 8 percent were actually ready to take on college-level courses. Many students are taking a hodgepodge of classes that ill prepares them for a life after graduation.”

Other than math, English and science, many of the required classes do not push students toward what they want to pursue as a career. Teachers force them to focus on getting good grades, passing tests and maintaining their GPAs. Ijaz said, “High schools nowadays don’t prepare you for college; they prepare you for getting into college. Most of the four years are spent either taking pointless classes or preparing for a myriad of government-mandated tests.” For example, all high school students have to take the SAT, which is a standardized test that determines your ability to get into college. Since there is so much pressure to do well on this test, 11th grade English class is based around SAT prep.

Classes such as personal finance, auto mechanics, and first-aid need to be required classes in high school because those classes will give students much more useful information for their lives ahead. Jennifer Finley, the author of “15 Subjects that Should Be Mandatory (But Aren’t)”, stated, “Few students ever enjoy full instruction on automobile maintenance and repair. Learning how to change your own oil, filters, belts, windshield wipers, and battery could save you a ton of money over the lifetime.”   

These auto classes can help save students trouble with mechanics in the future, and they won’t have to spend a lot of money for a small issue that could have been fixed if they had a basic knowledge of cars.  

Also many students do not know how to file taxes or apply for credit cards and that is a huge part of an adults everyday life. Knowing how to create a budget could help save so much more money and could set them up for success in life.

Although some schools do have these classes required to graduate, all high schools need to add these classes to their curriculum. Finley explained, “Only 13 states currently require personal finance classes for graduation. More states should get on board…as personal finance classes would provide a long-lasting benefit to the economic future of our country.”

Schools also have a strict focus on tests and passing grades and not what the student is actually learning. School has become so focused on learning the material on the tests that students have begun to just memorize information for tests and forget it right after.

No Child Left Behind is a program that was created by the government with the intention to make sure students are learning in school, but it did the opposite. Schools were given the incentive of more money and funding if the test scores showed they were learning; however, children stopped learning and started cramming and memorizing for tests.

Robert Schaeffer, the author of “Why ‘No Child Left Behind’ Will Fail Our Children”, said, “Many schools will narrow instruction to what is tested. Education will be damaged, especially in low-income and minority schools.”

These tests determine the success of the schools, and if students do not do well the school will be considered failing. Therefore, the lessons are more focused on preparing students to pass tests and not on teaching the students and making sure they are comprehending the information.

High school students will continue to leave school unprepared for their life ahead if a change is not made. More effective classes need to become required to graduate instead of classes that are a waste of time and do not help the students. Preparing students for a successful life after graduation should be more important than them passing standardized tests simply because it makes the school look better.

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High schools need more effective classes to prepare students for future