My Thoughts On The American Education System
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot you can talk about when relating to the American (high school) education system. There’s good aspects and negative aspects. Some things make sense, while others do not. Let’s look at the positives first.
The American education system helps children be social. During lunch (or any other breaks in the day), students can converse in-person with their peers on a variety of subjects. They can range from politics, to sports, to anything. This helps students learn how to be social with their coworkers later in life.
Early in the education system, you learn useful skills, such as reading, writing, and basic math. You need all that in order to get anywhere in society today. It’s been proven that getting an education early on is better than learning it in later areas of life.
Enough of the positives, let’s move on.
Let’s start off with a big one: technology. Technology is clearly the future of education. Even some of the teachers recognize that. But some areas have better technology than anyone else. A student in a poorer area may not have technology at all. That’s a major disadvantage for them, as they lose out on what you’ll definitely need later.
In my community, it’s pretty much all middle class and a few people of higher class. Most of us have smartphones, tablets, and computers. The school has WiFi. But it’s not built for so many devices. Our base stations (yeah, I’ve checked) are either based on the 802.11a specification or the 802.11g specification. But they only support 30-50 devices or so. That doesn’t work when there’s 2400 kids, their teachers, and other school employees with phones, tablets, etc. There are also complete dead zones for both the Wifi and Cell providers (even Verizon).
My school has a major disadvantage versus the schools down south in Palo Alto, Cupertino, and other tech-oriented areas. We have no coding or design classes. Companies are all looking for developers and designers, no matter what their product is these days. Without those courses, we’re already far behind what those students can utilize.
Let’s move onto the teachers. Now I’m not slandering teachers in general, as there are some great ones out there. But there’s also a lot of terrible ones. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a classroom, asked for help, and the teacher says, “Look in the book” or does nothing at all. If a student is confused, they need help, or they will fall behind.
Their are also teachers that completely ban any technology use. There’s a few at my school with “phone baskets” where you dump your phones into until the end of the class. I know they fear us misusing the phones to message our friends, but they can be useful as well.
If we need to look up something that could help our education, let us use that. For those students that abuse that privilege, then take the phone for the hour. Give us a chance to use technology to our advantage before you remove that.
There’s useful classes and ones that are pointless. Economics is clearly a useful class. It teaches you how to manage money, some stuff about the stock market, and other useful skills. But as you go through school more, there’s classes that become utterly useless.
English (or whatever primary language class you speak and write in) was a good class in the early days. It taught me how to read and write. You totally need that. However, it really just doesn’t matter in senior year.
I know how to make essays and how to write. Do I need to read books? Nope. What does a book teach me, other than what came out of a writer’s mind? Not much.
Math. The bane of all students existence. You need math, there’s no question there. But how many students will be using parabolas, the quadratic formula, or exponents in their daily lives? Very few. Most will be workmen in an office building, musicians, or otherwise. Math is not useful as a junior or senior in high school, since almost everything you learn doesn’t apply in life.
I guess that’s everything that I can think of what's wrong with the education system lately. Bad technology, some bad teachers, and useless classes. So what do you think of my opinions? Let me know on Twitter and ADN. Thanks for reading this!