Drastic changes should be made to our educational system.
If education is supposed to prepare students with life skills, then automatically promoting every student in elementary school whether or not they have mastered the requisite knowledge and skills is rewarding incompetence.
Students who have done minimal work, not handed in assignments, and failed tests, are promoted along with hardworking students. Some students decide it’s not worth the effort and sail through the elementary grades. They expect the same result in high school, but they soon realize it doesn’t work that way. They are not prepared to put in the extra work. They are not prepared to accept the consequences. Consequently, because of anger and frustration, they drop out of school and either remain unemployed, take menial jobs, or drift from one low paying job to another.
Teachers are told that each child is different. This is true. Then why must they all take the same courses? By forcing students to take courses they are not interested in, the school curriculum is fostering boredom. If a person is bored at their job, they can go somewhere else. Students don’t have that luxury.
When a student enters high school, he or she should have the opportunity to concentrate on the subjects that interest them. Don’t make history or science mandatory for a student who is a math whiz. Allow that student to specialize in math. Allow that student to take other courses of their choice, ones they are interested in learning, or no other subjects if that is their choice. This should be true for students who have a passion for history, geography, science or English. More and varied courses in these fields should be made available in the high schools.
Hands-on courses, like carpentry, plumbing, cooking, welding, etc. should also be made available so that high school graduates can immediately become apprentices in various trades, join the workforce and earn money. In this way, the curriculum is truly geared to different students having different abilities and different interests. Schools truly become places of education and places where young people are prepared for life.
Perhaps the only compulsory course should involve preparing students to handle their incomes, how to budget, what is a mortgage, interest rates, loans, credit cards, debt, etc.
High schools should become more of a preparation and training ground for students who intend to go to university, but especially for the majority of students who do not go to university.