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Education Reform: Student Choices Good or Bad?

April 27, 2011 2 comments

Education needs to be reformed in many ways but the way that would help schools and education the most is that we need to let students choose their classes more extensively. Students that are in high school should have a core curriculum but they should be able to pick their electives more than they are now.  The students that do not have a good time in high school or do not get to learn about what they want to learn about are more likely to drop out. If they do not drop out they will most likely not go to college. This is a big problem in today’s society because without a college degree or at least a high school diploma you cannot get a job.

When I was in high school all I wanted to do was take agricultural related classes because I knew that I wanted to be an agriculture education teacher but with the way my high school was set up I could only take one a year. This really held me back because if I could have taken more in depth agriculture related classes I feel like I would have had the upper hand coming into college. I would have also had a more enjoyable high school experience as well. I know I am not the only person that feels this way about the United States high schools. Many students from my own high school as well as many of the neighboring high schools from around Brown County, Ohio which is where I am from. “In the 2007/2008 school year, more than 230,000 apprentices participated in full-time school-based training”( Federal Ministry of Education and Research). This web site also states that vocational and agriculture classes help students that do not like the conventional way of learning in the class room. More high schools should offer vocational and agricultural classes so that the students can either broaden their horizons or narrow down their elective classes to what they want to learn about. This will also let them learn about what they want to do for the rest of their lives and pursue a career in. This would drastically reduce high school dropout rates and in turn also raise the average grade point averages for many if not all schools.

The schools grade point averages or (G.P.A.’s) would rise due to the fact that students would actually be interested in what they were learning about so they would be more likely to pay attention in class rather than sleep or skip class all together. We need to reach out to the students that want to drop out of school rather than the kids that are still in school because the high school drop outs are just as important to educate as the one still in school. The national high school dropout rate is eight percent according to the IES National Center for Education Statistics. This statistic is backed by Annette M. Allen National Assessment of Educational Progress Coordinator. We need to try to reach out to the potential dropouts and try every to use every option that we possess in order to keep them in school.

If we can keep all of or at least the majority of the high school dropouts in school that would help the economy because they would be more educated so they would be able to start businesses of their own or at least get higher paying jobs so that they could buy more things. They would also be able to help the school systems because if they do not dropout then the school systems then the schools will get the money from their school dues. In turn the schools would receive greater revenue from students even though it is a small amount it will add up to be a sufficient amount over a long period of time. This would make for a lesser dependence on state and federal funds in order for the school to run during the school week as well as pay for more teachers and other school staff. With this in mind the schools could use more of the state and federal funds to buy more and or upgrade the computers, class room supplies, as well as raise teacher’s and other staff’s salaries. These salary increases would most likely make the teachers want to teach to a higher standard which would also make a good incentive for them to receive these bonuses.

Some people say that if students are able to pick more of their classes then they will just pick the classes that get them through the easiest. This may be true in some cases but for the most part students that are passionate about what they are going to do for the rest of their lives will take their class schedules seriously. This would greatly help the students that are trying to get into specific colleges or specific programs in college. The class selections would also help students that did not know what they wanted to do after they graduated by giving them the opportunity to take classes in a variety of different subjects.

All of the things that have been mentioned just go to show how important that education reform is and will always continue to be in todays as well tomorrow’s societies. If we make the schools fit more to the needs of the students of today we will be able to raise grades and we will also be able keep more students from dropping out of school all together. The reason that we have schools is to teach people and if the students do not enjoy what they are being taught then they will not really learn anything. That is why we should reform the school systems and let the students pick more of their classes.

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Categories: Curriculum Reform

Destination: Imagination

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

What is the definition of a true education? This is the question my college English professor proposed to the class during the first few weeks of this semester. To be quite honest this is an answer that I am still seeking. It has been instilled in me from an early age that education equals success. However, when this answer was offered to pacify her, it failed miserably. She suggested that education meant more. The professor explained that education not only helps a person better themselves, or open up opportunities but it allows an individual to improve their society. Thus education plays a major role in society so the ways we are educating the current generation must be effective.

In America where every citizen, no matter what the IQ score, carries the responsibility to vote on government officials and decisions must ensure that each citizen has a standard of education. This may relieve some concerned individuals’ thoughts of this country’s future being handed down to a generation that is not truly educated. However, it does not change the fact that children are being pushed through this education ‘factory’ and have not had an ounce of chance to tap into their true potential. It is a devastating site to see schools where teachers are shoving information in student’s mind in order to reach far enough to pass a standardized test and then shoved out into the real world resulting in a group of people who have never found a love for education, imagination, or critical thinking. I myself am a product of this system and feel it an injustice that I was deprived of such critical tools to life. America’s education system needs to radically evolve into a source of nurture and love for knowledge and learning through imagination and critical thinking not recitation, and memorization which have proved time and time again to be ineffective.

Through imagination, knowledge has a unique opportunity to be completely relatable and thus absorbed more effectively. Kieran Egan states, “All knowledge is human knowledge and all knowledge is a product of human hopes, fears, and passions. To bring knowledge to life in students’ minds, we must introduce it to students in the context of the human hopes, fears and passions in which it finds its fullest meaning. The best tool for this is the imagination” (Egan, 2005). Many education officials put education and learning in a box. That box has been labeled with a big letterB.O.R.I.N.G. but I stand up and say that it does not have to be that way. Imagination is the answer. “The role of imagination in perceiving can breathe life into teaching, learning, and education.” Andrea Gallant states. Teachers, make your jobs more interesting and engage your students in imaginative ways. I will always remember the time that my biology teacher brought in a make shift life-sized cell and asked us to split into groups that each made a cell organelle and described its function. I retained much of the information I learned during that class.  Imagination is the key and yet our education system is overlooking it.

Another crucial variable in the equation for the success of the education system is equipping students to think critically. Once knowledge is gathered and absorbed through imagination critical thinking then must be utilized in transporting that knowledge into tangible ideas such as inventions or new discoveries. Critical thinking enables individuals to take a learned concept and apply it under different circumstances. Critical thinking involves the following abilities according to R.T. Pithers: “clarifying and focusing the problem; and analyzing, understanding and making use of inferences, inductive and deductive logic, as well as judging the validity and reliability of the assumptions, sources of data or information available.” I personally did not begin to think critically until I started college and information was no longer spoon fed to me.

So I now ask you the question, What is true education? To my knowledge it is the ability to understand, imagine, and think on your own. However, the current education system does not provide students with the means to do so with. Many educators feel comfortable with the common unimaginative, spoon-feeding means of education and argue that imagination would distract from learning even though imagination and learning coincide. There are radical changes that need to be made in today’s current education system. Imagination and critical thinking are catalysts that it needs.

Sources:
Egan, Kieran. An Imaginative Approach to Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2005. Print.

Egan, Kieran. The Future of Education: Reimagining Our Schools from the Ground up. New Haven: Yale UP, 2008. Print.

Gallant, Andrea. “imagination:Resuscitating Education.” (2008). Web. 01 Apr. 2011..

Pithers, R.T. “Critical Thinking in Education: a Review.”Educational Research 42.3 (2000): 237-49. Print.

Categories: Curriculum Reform

Creativity: To Be or Not To Be

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

In today’s schools, there is not a variety of paths students are given to follow.  This could be potentially harmful to the students education.  This lack of variety has taken the creativity out of the education system.  The important question is whether there is a place in schools where creativity can thrive.  Creativity in our schools has mostly been replaced by a lack there of and by the institution of stricter curriculums. Most schools now only teach in order to prepare for children for standardized test and thus it is just a repetitive process. But is creativity absence a positive or negative development?

Through my research I have found that the level of creativity in schools can affect the level of education and the amount of true education that the students receive. Students are only a small factor; the teaching technique is what is really affecting the education and how much the students absorb.  The American system is very different from any other educational system in the world. The difference in the American system and the European system is that the European system promotes creativity more, and thus there education is better according to Klaus K. Urban who wrote the article “RECENT TRENDS IN CREATIVITY RESEARCH AND THEORY IN WESTERN EUROPE”. According to Urban there is a huge difference in the amount of creativity that is used in the American and European systems. He believes that if you follow the information on how Americans’ test and how Europeans’ test that there is a connection between the two of them. He thinks that because the European system involves more creativity that it helps the students be able to think much more critically and creatively.

The American system is trying to put too many restrictions on learning and its taking away from our new children’s education. According to Ashley Spears article, there have been restrictions in even the most basic of classes constraining creativity. In art classes in America, there are very strict guidelines on what must be taught and how to teach it, but is art not the essence of creativity. The American school system it putting up guidelines and restrictions on even the most basic of ideas, leading to a problem with the education that the students are receiving. They are trying to put restrictions on what the people of the world and our ancestor’s have done for more than a few thousand years.  Some students may not take this very seriously but why should we want to punish others for trying to break the barrier of modern art. We should encourage new ideas not meet them with negativity and shun the people who are trying to do this. This is what the American education system is promoting.

A problem with our education system is that it is promoted by our society. Our society just wants people to know the raw facts and not truly understand what they know. I believe that this is a way to restrict power because knowledge is power. If as a society you keep people ignorant and not knowledgeable then they cannot think of new ideas that could better change our society. If we do not teach creativity it is impossible to advance in ideas or to research and hypothesize about what could or will happen when something is done. According to the article “Can You Really Teach Creativity?” the author believes that a person does not truly learn how to be creative until you reach the university level, but believes that people would be better suited to start learning how to be creative at an earlier age. The author believes that the parents should first instill creativity in and then the they should then be instilled creativity from education.

I think that there is a combination of all of these ideas and truths that could help our American education system. We need to put creativity in our schools by adding it to their curriculums or depending on what the curriculums are maybe we should take away from them. We need to achieve what the European countries have had for some time, a sound and solid education focused not only on learning, but also on thinking and the ability to problem solve. Because true problem solving is the ability to use new ideas to fix a problem that you are currently encountering, and new ideas are thought of by being creative.  We need to find a way to promote creativity in our schools like it is in the business world, were if you come up with a new idea that you could potentially be rewarded. We need to find a way to embrace creativity

Works cited

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a758845820
http://www.createdebate.com/debate/show/Do_Schools_Kill_Creativity

http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=3701

http://greatkidsgreatlife.com/http:/44/can-you-really-teach-creativity
http://www.chapinclaw.com/an-eagles-view/2010/02/22/restrictions-on-art-classes-crush-student-creativity

Categories: Curriculum Reform

Full Day “K”: The Foundation for Your Child’s Education.

April 24, 2011 Leave a comment

There are several responsibilities an individual takes on when being a parent. The most important one is making sure your child has everything that he or she may need. The basics such as food, a home, and clothing are obvious. Where does education fit in? It is difficult to control the type of education our children are receiving and whether or not it is enough to prepare them for their future. Full day Kindergarten, if implemented, is one way you can insure your children will get a head start in social skills, appropriate developmental skills, and most importantly, academic benefits.

Developing social skills depends on several factors such as home environment and the amount of interaction that is practiced. Working parents are limited to the amount of social interaction they can provide their children with. However, full-day Kindergarten provides that interaction on several different levels. Amanda Miller is a part of the Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative (ECPC) at Illinois University. In her article, “Full Day Kindergarten” she states that full-day Kindergartens, “involve children in first-hand experience and informal interaction with objects, other children, and adults…and develop children’s social skills, including conflict resolution strategies” (Rothenburg.) A few hours a day is not enough time for children to take part in all of these opportunities. When calculating in nap and lunchtime, teachers are left with one to two hours of cramming what educational aspects they had planned for the day.

Full day Kindergarten would improve developmental skills as well. Kindergarten is the level of education in a child’s life in which they begin to learn basic reading and writing. Malia Villegas is a writer for WestEd Center on Policy. In her article, “Kindergarten: Expanding Learning Opportunities,” she discusses the advantage students receive in reading and literacy from full-day Kindergarten. Malia explains, “Recent studies underscore previous findings that full-day Kindergarten students show faster gains on literacy and language measures when compared to half-day Kindergarten students, a finding of particular importance for the growing numbers of English language learners” (Villegas 03). As discussed earlier, full day Kindergarten classes allow longer periods to be dedicated towards fundamental development skills. If our children are not learning the basic reading skills during the appropriate time, we are sending them into their next academic levels ill prepared.

When considering the idea of education the prominent aspect is preparation. Before enrolling our children into Kindergarten, we base our decision on whether or not they are mentally developed to meet the academic standards. The purpose of Kindergarten, like all grade levels, is to prepare students for the next year. Half-day Kindergarten classes are not meeting the quota. Patricia Clark of Education Resources Information Center, which is the US Department of Education, wrote an article titled, “Recent Research on All-Day Kindergarten.” In this article, she examines the academic benefits of the subject at hand. Clark writes about a 1990’s research that was performed on full day and half day Kindergarten students which displayed, “Children who attended all-day Kindergarten scored higher on standardized tests, had fewer grade retention’s, and had fewer Chapter 1 placements”(Clark01).

            The National Center for Education Statistics provides a chart by the Whitehouse Social Statistics Briefing Room that indicates the percentage of time spent on crucial subjects in a full-day Kindergarten class verses a half-day Kindergarten class:

                                        Percent of U.S. public kindergarten classes that spend time each day on various academic subject areas, by program type: Spring 1999

As indicated above, you can see that apart from reading and language arts, half day Kindergarten classes lack anywhere between 12-17% of time focused on vital academic subjects compared to full day Kindergarten classes.

On the other hand, there are negative aspects of full day Kindergarten that need to be addressed. One of the most common among these concerns is cost. As Villegas discusses in her article, “Full Day Kindergarten: Expanding Learning Opportunities,” objectors are concerned that the cost of extending the classes to full day will outweigh the benefits. However, full day Kindergarten could save money in the end. If it were to be implemented, we would spend less money on tutoring, labor, and fuel cost (Villegas03). On the other hand, since when you do put a price on our children’s education? Educated individuals are the ones that go to college, get careers, and one day be the ones running our economy.

The other concern objectors have is the pressure it would place on children. However, I believe that if children were to go a full day it would prepare them for their next coming years. First grade is just one year after Kindergarten and beginning a full day schedule then would be just as strenuous as in Kindergarten. The only difference between the two grades is that Kindergarten has less academic demands. It would be better to expose them to half of the battle, staying all day, rather than both time and academic responsibilities in one year. There could also be a compromise. Make access to full day Kindergarten universal with the ability to volunteer participation is how Villegas addresses this concern. She discusses how New Mexico and Arizona have already implemented this idea. They leave it up to districts to decide whether they want to implement full day Kindergarten. Districts work to ensure that their Kindergarten programs are developmentally appropriate and provide opportunities for children to learn in various settings. Parents who prefer half-day enrollment retain that option (Villegas03).

I know from personal experience that half day Kindergarten is not enough preparation. My four-year-old cousin started Kindergarten this year. Every day when she comes home from school, in response to the question, “what did you learn today,” the only thing she replies is details about recess. This is because her teachers do not have enough time to ingrain lessons about necessary academics. Full day Kindergarten is the only way to insure our children are getting the proper social, developmental, and academic benefits that are essential for their life’s future and education.

Categories: Curriculum Reform

Reform for the Better: Education

Looking back at the value of the education I received from sixth through twelfth grade (middle school through high school), I have come to notice that with every passing year, the general ideas for each class never changed.  What I mean by this is that every year we were taught that to be successful, we must pass each course and receive good grades.  What was not emphasized throughout my career was the comprehension of the material taught.  Sure we were told that we must know the information to pass tests.  However, what happens is that children learn to memorize the necessary information until a test is over.  Then, even as soon as they start to turn in the exam, all the “learned” information slowly retracts from the mind, creating more space to memorize material for the next exam.  The children of today are not learning information, they are not gaining knowledge, they are simply memorizing.

From early on in our lives, we are taught to believe that in order to achieve a life of success, we must first achieve exceptional grades.  However, that is not the case.  I have just recently come to recognize that education goes beyond just the classroom.  Students today, have failed to apply themselves, not because they are not smart enough, and not even because they do not care about their future.  It is because they are exhausted from being judged by a system of letters.  According to Laurie Flynn, executive director of TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University, stress levels in college freshman has reached a record highThese stress levels are also correlated with the increasing percentage of college dropouts, which is currently at 35%It is this system of believing simple letters determine the outcome of your life that is causing students to stay up extremely late and become stressed and emotional.  It is this system that drives the increase of children not pursuing a college level education.  It is this system that causes a child’s desire to learn simply fade away.

The problems of the current education system are not just isolated in the years of middle school and high school, they stay with the children as to go on to college.  That is if they even decide to go in the first place.  The current education system abandons the average students behind.  Children are taught that by going to college, they can learn to become anybody they want.  They are told that every person has the potential to be successful.  However, since the current education focuses on achieving good grades through a system of memorization instead of actual comprehension, students that go to college may find it difficult to succeed.  As a result, students that are not achieving the good grades that they believe determine their life will ultimately change their career path to one that is less satisfying than their original.  Most of my current classmates, each of whom  can be successful in their own right, will academically be changed by fear, and are instead choosing the path of simplicity:  That is to get good grades, get a job, and be happy.

I am not suggesting that the current education system is the worst thing that has ever happened.  It does teach us the basic necessities.  I am simply suggesting that it be changed, and changed by the people that have gone through the system.  Albert Einstein once said,  “No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it,”  and this applies directly to education reform.  If we want to change education, we need to fix it because we know the problems.

But in order to change the system, we must change the guidelines.  Instead of teaching a child to pass, we need to simultaneously teach a child to understand and apply relevant information while also making the learning of this information an enjoyable experience for the child.  What I mean by relevant information is information that can be used in the “real world,” and not information taught just to fill up an hour’s worth of time.  In order to make learning an enjoyable experience for a child, we must first change the mindset of the child to where he/she wants to learn.  Only then, will a child be able to fully understand the information that has taught to them.

Having changed this aspect of education, we can then implement a system that groups children together based on their intelligence level.  What I mean by this is have them take a test beginning each school year showing how much information they can comprehend and apply to various situations.  Then the schools use the results of these tests to group the children into general education classes based on intelligence, not age.   This grouping method should only be used for classes such as mathematics, sciences, and english, whereas classes such as physical education and art should still be based on age.  In this scenario, I believe the children will be able to advance their education to higher levels while still being able to take part in the social aspect of school with peers of his/her own age.

Even if a system like this does not bring about the changes we need in our current educational system, it is a start.  We as a nation must work together and brainstorm ideas as to what needs to be done to help educate the children of tomorrow.  Changes like these are difficult, but they are also necessary.

Work cited:

Majority of paper is my own opinion

Online:

Categories: Curriculum Reform

Mediocrity in Education

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

After recently reading Below C Level: How Americans Encourage Mediocrity and What We Can Do About It by John Merrow I realized how much our education system was in a dire need of a make-over. Our school system today does in fact encourage mediocrity and the schools itself are mediocre . It doesn’t supply the students with the right materials to be successful, such as teachers who are well qualified, and the equipment they need, and they very rarely encourage students to go above the exceedingly low bar that is set and achieve greater things that they’re capable of.

In high school my classmates and I were never really encouraged to do better than the average C. The main focus of our classes up to our sophomore year was to prepare us for the Ohio Graduation Test. After we took the test and pasted then it felt like we really had no purpose for being there. We had already passed the test that determined if we were to graduate so why did we have to go the extra two years?

My high school and  many others in America are mediocre schools. Schools in New York, Chicago, and Washington are shutting down because students are not not receiving an up to par education. It’s crucial for something to change if we want our future leaders to be properly educated and prepared for life.

What do schools need to provide students with a good education and not a mediocre one? According to a Huffington Post article by Jim McGuire, which can be read here, these are the characteristics of a good school:

  • Students want to be there.
  • Highest expectations for the school. That includes teachers and students.
  • Dedicated teachers.
  • Effective Discipline.
  • A variety of instruction techniques.
  • Individual instruction and approaches to students.
  • Leadership.

All of these characteristics seem like they would in fact create a great school. The problem is getting the money to do all of this. Let’s face it, in order to hire dedicated, effective teachers, and have the latest technology we need money. There are many people out there such as politicians, celebrities, billionaires, that are trying to raise money for our education system. John Legend, a successful musician who has won 9 Grammy Awards, is heavily involved in education. On Huffington Post’s website he blogs about his ideas about education. Legend has created a nonprofit organization, The Show Me Campaign, that works towards fighting poverty and reforming our schools. To make a donation to his organization follow this link and click donate.

Michelle Rhee, the Chancellor of Education, visited a school in Washington at the request of one of the students, Allante Rhodes. At Rhodes’ high school lack of computers is a problem. He knew that knowing how to work a computer was a crucial part of education and knew that if he didn’t know how do one of the easiest task that he wouldn’t stand a chance in college. Rhee took over Rhodes’ high school along with many other and is still trying to fix them. Even now, Rhodes is still worrying if he has what it takes to be successful in college. It’s not fair for a child to be placed in that situation but it’s happening every day.

President Obama recently said in his State of the Union Address that U.S teachers are ‘Nation Buliders.’John Merrow, the author of the book I read and a blogger about education on Huffington Post challenges this idea. Since Obama compares teachers to builders he compares the five basic needs of a builder to that of a teacher. These needs are:

  • Raw materials (the children themselves)
  • Tools (curricular materials)
  • Time and working conditions (About of time they have to plan and the conditions they work in)
  • Know-how (Education such as a Masters Degree)
  • Blueprints (What the teachers are supposed to teach)

Merrow believes that we don’t have any of these needs and he says it’s not the teachers fault. It’s the nation’s failure for not providing them with these tools. He’s exactly right too. If we don’t provide our teachers with the right tools to educate our children then how are our children going to get a good education? These kids really are our future. They’re the people who are going to be running our businesses and running for office.  It’s important for them to get the education that they deserve. To read John Merrow’s full article click here.

It’s been proven that it is possible for a school to be successful even in places such as New York where schools are constantly failing. In John Merrow’s book he mentions a man who he believes is the superman of the education system. George C. Albano is a Principal at a school in New York. He’s insuring that his students are receiving a proper education by hiring teachers who are dedicated and making sure the students have what they need and those students are succeeding. It is possible for a school to be successful.

The education system today is in dire need of being fixed. To do that we need to start spending more money on schools to get the supplies and technology needed, prepare the teachers better, hire better teachers, prepare our students for more than just a standardized test, and focus more on the students entirely. If we don’t start working towards a better education system then things are just going to get worse.

Works Cited:

Legend, John. “Wake Up! We Know How to Fix Our Schools.” Huffington Post. 4 October 2010. Web. 3 April 2011.

McGuire, Jim. “What Makes  a Good School.” Huffington Post. 4 November 2010. Web. 3 April 2011.

Merrow, John. Below C Level: How American Education Encourages Mediocrity And What We

            Can Do About It. Lexington, KY, United States: John Merrow. 2010. Print.

Merrow, John. “Can U.S. Teachers Truly Be ‘Nation Builders?’ Huffington Post. 31 March 2011. Web. 3 April 2011.

Ripley, Amanda. “Rhee Tackles Classroom Challenge.” Time. 26 November 2008. Web. 3 April 2011.

Categories: Curriculum Reform

High School Curriculum Needs to be Changed

As you enter college as a freshman do you think that college will be a breeze like high school? I used to think like this till I began to work in Morehead State’s tutoring lab. While working as a tutor, I would tutor students whose high schools didn’t prepare them for college in the math. Sometimes I wonder if these students even completed their senior year in high school. The reality is “Colleges and universities complain bitterly that professors are now forced to add remedial courses to teach incoming freshmen how to write simple sentences and to compute basic mathematical formulas” (Clark) and “About three-quarters of the 17,500 freshmen at the community colleges this year have needed remedial instruction in reading, writing or math, and nearly a quarter of the freshmen have required such instruction in all three subjects. In the past five years, a subset of students deemed “triple low remedial” — with the most severe deficits in all three subjects — has doubled, to 1,000.” (Foderano) Colleges say that in order to fix this problem, the standards in high school curriculum needs to be set to college level and according to some high school administrators, “[this] is long overdue.” (Potter)

In the past the U.S. economy was primarily industrial. In this economy an employee didn’t have to posses a lot of higher level skills but the economy the U.S. has now is a technological based economy. According to Clark, “… American workers [of today’s economy] must have higher-order capacities. They must be able to communicate complex messages, [and] organize their own teamwork ….” These higher-order capacities can only be possessed if the employees attend college level classes. This in turn forces a change of standards for incoming employees. Since the current U.S. economy has changed so must the standards of employment. However, “As things are, state standards are developed without reference to college standards, said David T. Conley, an associate professor of educational policy ….” (Potter) This is crazy! How do you expect the economy to keep running if the new employees don’t possess the skills needed in order to do their job? The answer is you can’t.

One opposing question to setting up a college curriculum in high school is: won’t the curriculum change from state to state? (Finn) This is a really good question. The answer is yes; the curriculum to some degree would change from state to state because in each state certain colleges specialize in different careers and degrees. For instance the University of Kentucky specializes in more general degrees and pre-professional programs but Colorado School of Mines specializes in more technical degrees and studies. So, the curriculum would change from state to state. Yet, whether a student moves to a different state or not is irrelevant because the core curriculum that colleges are looking for in incoming freshman are the same. Since all colleges are looking for a freshman that can write an average essay, know how to do basic mathematics, and can read in-depth material then moving states doesn’t matter because the core curriculum in the high schools are the same.

Another opposing question to setting up a college curriculum in high school is what about the students attending vocational schools? Since these students aren’t going to traditional colleges why do they need to bother with what these colleges expect? Normally you would think that this doesn’t apply to these students, but this does apply. If these students were to have the skills a traditional college expects then the student could use this knowledge as a stepping stone for a vocational degree or a traditional college degree. Your right when you become a welder then you are not going to use knowledge of how a well formatted essay is written or how well you can spell in your daily job. However, as a welder you do need to know Basic Math and Basic English in order to do your job right. You’re probably wondering how? Well, as a welder you need to know how to determine the lengths of different sides when all you have is an angle in order to weld two pieces of steel at a certain angle, but for this you need Basic Math. Also, there may come a time in your job in which you will have to write an essay for a promotion. If you don’t possess Basic English skills then say good bye to that promotion. If you don’t have this knowledge then you’re not going to get that promotion and no person is going to want to hire you if you can’t give your customer what he or she asked for.

The final question that needs to be addressed is how much effort do we as a nation need to invest in this change? In my opinion we need to invest a lot of time because this is not going to be a quick fix. This will take a little while to come up with the curriculum and implement it. If we don’t invest a lot of time in this then no change will occur and the problem will still be there. Therefore, with the American people working hard to change raise high school curriculum to college level then colleges will not have to teach remedial classes and will strengthen the American economy and the nation as a whole.

Categories: Curriculum Reform