American youth are forced to go to school every day. That should be a great thing, right? Wrong. If your child is going to a public school, they are not getting an education that will actually help them in their future. The first twelve years of school solely serve the purpose of limiting individual creativity and molding the perfect little obedient servant for the State. An argument can be made that the first couple years do serve a purpose, and I will agree with that, as all Americans need to learn the basics of English, math, history, and science. The problem is that after that, they are force-fed information that might not serve any field of interest for them and it ends up being forgotten at the end of the year.
They are not being taught. That is the main problem. The youth go through the many rigors of public schooling, including many stress-inducing standardized testing and homework that limits the social capability of said child. These young impressionable children are having their heads filled with useless information that is drilled over and over until the test, and then it just goes poof. It is never revisited again and the child never finds a use for it in the future. A lot of the math that stresses children out beyond the basic operations is completely useless in life unless that child is going into a math-heavy field. The thing is, school should be more oriented towards a child’s specific interests. Public schooling does not provide that at all. It’s one thing for the first eight years of elementary school be used to make children well-rounded and capable in a broad array of subjects, but high school should seriously focus on what the child is actually interested in and allow them to build on that and be prepared to get real in-depth in that field in college. Instead, high school students are subject to the same head-filling and necessity to regurgitate useless information for stress-inducing standardized tests. What is the point? Is there any surprise that many high school students drop out? They are just not interested in this same assembly line perfect employee production that public education is doing.
Individuality and originality are discouraged. It’s not as radical of a claim as it seems. Think about it. During the whole process of “learning”, children are given specific instructions to complete tasks and really can’t explore it in their own way and have the support of the instructor and other students. Sure, they can go home and use the Internet if they are truly interested, but they will never use that extra information in class. You can learn so much more on the subject, but if it has no place in the essay, it will most likely not be remembered when you have to remember everything else in school. The only classes that provide that individuality and creativity are art classes, but even with those there are specific projects and instructions. Children aren’t given a paintbrush and canvas and told to paint whatever they want. They are subject to instructions and have to worry about the burden of getting a good grade, which leads them to follow the directions as closely as possible, thus eliminating the potential creativity.
The system is outdated. Keep in mind that the current education system was designed for the 1900s. The problem: It’s not the 1900s anymore. Pretty much everything about life has changed since then and yet classes are still structured and taught as if it were the 1900s and children are still molded to be employees instead of employers. It’s a system that definitely needs to be changed to fit the times. Why are children forced to memorize complicated formulas or specific dates of historical events? The Internet is everywhere and the specifics of things can easily be looked up. Focus more on what actually happened at the historical event, or how to solve said formula, instead of forcing children to memorize them and then often forget what actually happened or how to solve the formula. Public education needs to adapt to the many advances that we now have technologically, and I mean adapting way more than just having computers in classrooms and online work submission services.
Public high schools rarely properly prepare students for college. The transition from high school to college is difficult, and it really shouldn’t be. College freshman should be ready to go and know exactly what they want, or at least a good idea. In an ideal structure, the first 8 years of school give students that necessary broad range of knowledge, and then high school really focuses on one or a few fields of interests and helps the child decide what they want. Therefore, the transition to college and the necessity to be set on a major is a much easier process and the child isn’t completely overwhelmed by the college system. By the way, that “broad range of knowledge” that the first 8 years would provide in that ideal system would have classes that are structured in a way where children actually learn stuff and retain that knowledge and are able to put it to use, while also fostering creativity and individuality. High school should serve as preparation for college instead of just an extension of elementary school.
It’s free education, why complain? You get what you (don’t) pay for! Well, see, there’d be no reason to complain if education wasn’t mandatory. By that logic, you’re pretty much ensuring that the poor stay poor and become indoctrinated into the system while the rich get the fulfilling education which allows them to stay rich. The playing field should be even and I am happy to say that it has been getting more even with many new scholarships and college opportunities for less fortunate people. However, that progress needs to be seen in elementary and high school, too.