Our current high school curriculum is largely academics-focused, putting a primary emphasis on preparing for college entrance exams and the rigors of higher academic institutions. This does a disservice to all of our children who don’t plan to go to college, focusing instead on a trade or other path in life.
While preparing those who wish to go to college should continue to be a focus of our high school education system, we need to do more to prepare our children to function in the world independent of further education. The curriculum should expand to cover things such as:
- Financial literacy and planning
- Interview skills
- Communication and managing conflict
- Preparing healthy meals
- Physical fitness
- Time management
- Positive psychology and resilience
- Healthy use of technology
These skills are arguably more important to success in life than geometry, and yet we force students to learn more of the latter than the former. Our education system should shift to include these life skills.
The purpose of education should be to enable a citizen to live a good positive, socially productive life independent of work and further education. We need to make school more relevant to our young people by teaching them things they might actually use every day. Emphasizing rote academic skills in the age of supercomputers is not preparing our people for what's to come.
Problems to be Solved
- For students who aren’t planning to go on to higher education, our high school curriculum includes a lot of materials that won’t be relevant in their lives.
- For all students, a large portion of “adulting” is ignored, sending these children to live on their own without the basic tools needed.
- Better prepare all students for the skills they’ll need to operate as adults and contribute to society
- Create a path for those students who don’t have an interest in higher education
As President, I will…
- Promote leaders in the Department of Education that promote life-skills education at least as much as higher education.
- Promote leaders in the DOE who envision trade skills as an educational path in secondary school.