Argumentative Essay on What Matters

In today’s world, seventy-four percent of high school students graduating are not prepared for college and careers (ACT). High school’s ways of teaching are becoming outdated. Much of the information forced upon students to learn is simply to be memorized only to be forgotten. Kids often learn useless knowledge that will not benefit them in their lives outside of school. High schools should do more to prepare students for the real world by changing mandatory classes to classes that focus on their career paths and will better suit students for their lives ahead of them.

In high schools today, mandatory classes that students must take to graduate include classes such as math, English, and history. By high school, what do these classes offer or teach teens about being an adult? Almost little to nothing. Once the basic math skills like adding, multiplying, ratios, etc. are learned, math almost becomes irrelevant. The majority of the population, seventy-five percent to be exact, do not require math beyond basic numerical skills in their careers (Weissmann). The need to pass math to graduate is causing numerous of students to drop out of school because of failure.

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And for the teens that do not drop out, their lower grade can substantially lower their grade point average. Having a poor grade point average typically results in a lack of colleges they can apply to, let alone get accepted to. Along with that, the amount of career choices will not be nearly as abundant as it could be. Instead of a math class, a finance class should be swapped in its place. This way, learning to do everyday life tasks such as how to pay bills and taxes, how to deal with loans, how a mortgage works, or even how to write a check out will be a more useful skill to a teens independent life ahead of them as opposed to memorizing the unit circle.

This reasoning also applies to English. The fundamentals of reading and writing are truly all that is needed to succeed in life. Most people are not writing essays every day or have to read between the lines of book where the language is so outdated that it is too hard to understand. A better option would be to fill this class with learning how to write essays that will be submitted to colleges or how to fill out applications that will better a teen’s ability to become hired. This will also help limit the stress of trying to find jobs because that call never comes back, or its crunch time for submitting that college essay and it’s just become impossible.

Why rip out hair when the school should be assisting teens to better their life. As for history, it only teaches of the past. It does not serve much beyond that because as history has shown society as a whole has not learned from the past, and mistakes are repeated. Why not instead, fill that time with a class about life. Teaching students how deal with such things as living off a budget for a certain amount of time, or how to manage a child, or how to pay for housing, or how to know what are the necessary needs in life.

The types of classes like math, English, and history should be served as electives. That way, students who know they will become an engineer or a writer or an archeologist can choose those classes to better their skills for their careers in the future but if not why suffer. Most kids graduating from high school do not know how to deal with real life emergencies. How many can say they know how to deal with a little fender bender and swap insurance information, let alone change a flat tire? Although, without a good foundation of those core classes such as math, English, and history; succeeding in anything else would become almost impossible. And yes, having more practice can only help improve those skills, but by high school, almost everything taught has been learned in the past. The foundations should be better constructed in those years leading up to high school, and once the foundation is built up well; lessons should be geared more towards those life building skills.

The fields within education should be more balanced to create more well-rounded teens that can be fully self-reliant. The teens of today need a reality check, and schools should be helping to prepare them for what is to come. Most kids will not know what hit them, and mommy and daddy will not always be there to help out. When it comes to students, things like writing checks, doing bills, and understanding insurance may not be their first choice when it comes to learning, but schools should change that.