This I Believe

Blair - san antonio, Texas
Entered on October 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe public education has failed me.

I didn’t say I believe it hasn’t educated me; it has. It just wastes so much time, for others too, on unimportant things that are remembered for a year.

The biggest reason public education has failed me is the lack of ability to chase what you want, to be sitting in classes you don’t like and don’t need. When my World Geography teacher spent a week teaching us about Germany, he discussed their school system. There, kids are grouped by intelligence and go to different schools according to their level. They teach lower level students skills for jobs they are likely to get in the real world and the same for higher level students. They are also allowed to replace courses with fields they are interested in, so they have to take a certain amount of classes, but not as we are with required courses. The teacher didn’t lack any praise for this unique system, and after awhile neither did I.

The thought of not being required to learn about some empire on the other side of the world over 3 thousand years ago is a pleasant one. Sure it may make me a well rounded student, but is it something I should be forced to take? Is there nothing I could focus on instead? Of course there is. I’m not going to get into a job dealing with that. Some people may, and they would choose to take that class.

Some may be thinking this sounds too much like college for it to work. Heard of AP or dual credit? Many high schools are already offering college level courses that hundreds of thousands of students are in.

By letting people take less required courses, the level of interest in classes’ increases. There would be less people interrupting teachers’ lectures with loud snores, less talking on the side and less kids skipping or “going to the restroom” for over half of class.

I also believe someday this will happen and it will make a positive change. Classes below us are now required to take four years of science and history compared to our and previous classes three. If this continues we won’t even need to have course cards anymore, they will already have high school planned out for us with a generic teach-to-the test schedule. Hopefully something will spark a change and kids wont be forced to know trigonometry or learn the ideas of Sigmund Freud and why atoms bond with certain atoms.