The Faults of Modern High Schools

The Faults of Modern High Schools

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The Faults of Modern HS

I am not sure what the goal of public schools is. The district of M.S.A.D. #55 has printed their mission statement in my school-issued agenda book. It is as follows: “The mission of MSAD #55 is to support successful lifelong learning.” The district also has a “vision.” This is also printed in my battered agenda and it proclaims the vision to be that: “MSAD #55 will be a community of life-long learners where all are clear and effective communicators, creative problem solvers, quality workers and involved citizens.”

These statements leave me confused, because teachers of mine have told me that school exists because the government wants to educate its citizens so that they can grow to become productive members of our democracy. I have also been told that children are forced by law to go to school because without an “education” they will not survive in the world. I have been also told that school is intended to prepare children for the workplace when they are adults. I’m not sure whom to believe on this issue, and I am undecided as to what the intent of public education is. Unless of course the purpose of it is to waste the best years of children’s lives by keeping them inside a concrete building, and having them sing their ABCs and learn to write in cursive.

There is a problem with packing more than 10 3rd graders into a room. Yet the school system seems to be able to get by with twice and often three times that many children into a room and claim to be reaching and educating all of them. This is not easily accomplished when there is one teacher and 25 kids. Years ago when I was a 3rd grader I did not want to be inside, ever. I didn’t want to spend my time locked up in a cube with a pack of other children around me. It wasn’t natural or easy for me then, and it’s harder now in my junior year in high school. It is not healthy for children to be sitting down for hours at a time. Elementary school was not physically stimulating, my physical education class was an attempt at keeping us all from getting fat, but other than that there was little or no physical activity involved.

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This would cause all of the students to become unhappy and restless and we were allowed to have access to fresh air and sunlight for 35 minutes a day to release all that pesky “energy” teachers complain about so much.

It seems apparent to me that the setup of a standard school day is inherently wrong. The human mind and body are not intended to remain focused on one bland topic for more than 10 minutes. The school systems have been using the same boring and ineffective methods for more than 100 years. Having children sit down at their desks and be lectured to is not as effective as using an interactive approach that involves the students and relates the subject matter to the real world. And by the real world I don’t always mean the economy, or America, or the community the students live in. While these are all valid subjects to teach, what I call the “real world” is actually The World. The Earth, the effect of humans on this planet (not our planet), and what we can do to improve the really important issues. My idea of really important issues is different than most people’s. Within the lifetime of today’s students, there will be a phenomenal problem with overpopulation. There are currently estimated to be 6,157,756,751 people in the year 2001. Projections indicate that by the year 2050 there will be 9,309,051,539 human beings running around on the Earth. That seems to me to be a much more important issue than George Washington cutting down a cherry tree, or the names of constellations, or all the words to the “Star Spangled Banner” or any of the countless other bits of junk that I have already (and will) learn and forget in the course of my education. Now since I am ranting about the impertinent and drawn out subjects in school, I am not going to make this an extended paper just to get a better grade, it wastes paper and time, and because like most things (education, population, relationships, food and politicians for example) quality is more important than quantity. I hope that you will view what has been presented here with an open mind and please, think before you breed… oh, and don’t write in cursive.
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