Unprepared graduates?

Anna Baustert, Staff Editor

Every year, the conversation arises: “Is school hard enough?” “Are students actually learning?” “Is school healthy for kids?” Considering the CDC says suicide is the second leading cause of death in students 15-19, I would assume school is hard enough. 

The idea of modern day schooling came to be in 1837 from Horace Mann, the secretary of education at the time, to prepare children to work in factories once they became adults. This was the time of the Industrial Revolution and the creator of school wasn’t thinking in the future.

However, we don’t live during the Industrial Revolution anymore and the world has progressed far beyond that time. Our society is moving forward and schooling is being left behind, staying just the same as it has been. The world is now looking for unique people who think progressively and have the ability to connect with others.

This idea of school in America is extremely flawed and many students are starting to notice that school isn’t really about learning anymore, it’s about passing. Does memorizing pointless information and regurgitating it back up on the test make one intelligent? Making students study until three a.m. just so they don’t fail their test only to wake them up again at six a.m. is not healthy education. 

Studies have shown that students would benefit from an extra hour of sleep way more than struggling through four projects, reading five chapters and studying for two exams (not to mention homework and normal school work on top of all that).

The problem, however, isn’t the teachers or administrators, it’s the system that they work in. The curriculum is already written out without much room for changing or moving at paces better fit for the students.

Right now, our education system is showing kids how to memorize dots when we should be helping them learn to connect them. Every student has different needs and talents, yet they are all placed in front of one instructor and taught the same thing, the same way. In school, students are taught what to think about everything and not how to think. It’s about time we reform our education system to involve more of the arts and take the well-being of students into account.

Younger students need to be taught that no one is perfect, how to love themselves and how to have good time management for the future. Growing kids should also be taught basic math, science, history and English skills. 

In middle school, students should be exposed to new things so they can find their passions and become more creative. We need to help further bring out that passion in high school and prepare them for the real world. 

As of now, there is no mandatory class in high school to teach students how to pay a mortgage, pay taxes, find a job and how to have good people skills. Homework and tests would also be less stressful if they were less frequent.

Countries like Finland have already taken on this plan. They have barely any standardized tests and homework is almost non-existent. They wake up later, have shorter school days, and they teach students to collaborate instead of compete. The atmosphere at school in Finland is kept relaxed and they take frequent breaks from work to breathe and decompress. The most impressive thing about this? Finnish students scored better in reading, math and science than almost any other country in the world.  

This shows us that using this plan will help bring out the creativity in students, decrease depression and suicide rates, as well as teach students what they need to prepare for the real world.