How High School Fails, Yet Somehow Prevails
I hated high school. With a passion. The reasoning for this boils down to the area, the people, the school system, and other things that were specific to my high school experience and cannot be generalized across all high schools. Yet I still insist high school fails.
By my senior year of high school, I was coach of the school’s color guard, section leader of mallet percussion, participating in percussion ensemble as well as concert and marching band, totaling to about twelve hours of extra-curricular work. Despite all that, I had no problem keeping a 4.0 GPA taking the highest courses my school had to offer.
While I would love to say “I’m really just that awesome,” this is not the case. I learned that quickly when I came to university.
High school did not prepare me for university. Not in the least. Again, this could easily be construed as a situation specific to my hometown (and others like it). It could be that the school system simply catered to the average student for the area, and I was so far above that average that the system did nothing to help me, leaving me ill-prepared for university.
If that is the case, it is still a huge problem. The system should not need to significantly dumb itself down for the students. It should push the students to do better and work harder. A school system should not simply sweep failing grades under the rug (as mine did for the valedictorian).
However, I do not believe this is an isolated event. I think the problem is much larger.
In my interview on Monday, I mentioned how university was a shock for me because I actually had to work, and work hard. My interviewer wasn’t the least bit surprised by the discrepancy between the difficulty of university compared to high school. What’s more, he commented on how that gap is a serious problem across the country.
My interviewer, the tech lead of the investment company, had the opposite experience. He went to high school in a different country (I don’t know which) and found American university comparatively easy. While I don’t know what university he went to, either, I highly doubt it was a simple community college.
Certainly I’m not the only one noticing the red flag here. Between the insane education costs, poor teachers/professors/lecturers, and school systems that are incapable of preparing its students for life after high school, the US education system is failing, and failing hard. Things aren’t getting better.
I’ve not been to ever school system in the US, nor have I been to every university or experienced the gap between high school and university in every possible situation. I don’t have an intimate knowledge of the education systems used across the globe. All I know is that the US education system is seriously flawed, and the country is hurting because of it. (For those of you who want proof, I’ve two words: Jersey. Shore.)
As my friend Nath always says: In a perfect world…?
In a perfect world, students who are significantly above or below the average would have other options in high school (or earlier) that would not cost additional money. A student’s acceptance to and subsequent success in a college or university would not rely upon where they grew up. A student’s participation in secondary education would be based on his or her hard work and intellectual capacity, not the monetary funds he or she can present to the school. Education costs and low-income neighborhoods would not prevent brilliant kids from reaching their full potential.
The world isn’t perfect nor will it ever be. But I can dream, can’t I?
Posted on March 3, 2011, in Education and Work and tagged Edumacation, High school: the worst years of your life... until you start college., Jersey Shore is a disease upon humanity. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.