High school completion and subsequent continuation of education are encouraged for students worldwide. On the other hand, numerous students consider it pointless and uninspiring. They blame their mistakes on faculty members, school policies, and fellow students to take responsibility for their actions instead. It is almost always a sign that students are not being challenged enough if their coursework is not challenging. When I graduated from high school, students could enroll in college courses offered through our high school, which was an excellent opportunity for me to pursue further education. It allowed more advanced students to participate in the same activities as “normal” students while simultaneously challenging and educating themselves. It is unlikely that any of the current problems in the educational system would be resolved if high school were to be abolished. There are numerous ways to improve the educational system; however, we must focus on long-term results.
The essay by Harley Tong describes high school as a waste of time and a constant struggle to remain interested in schoolwork, among other things. A central theme is the author’s life experiences and how they influenced him to begin his college career two years earlier than most students would have otherwise done. While still in his early twenties and a high school student, the author expressed his dissatisfaction with other students’ physical and verbal abuse, which was common in many high schools at the time. Having a social learning environment that is cognition-focused and where students are an integral part of the learning process is beneficial to students in higher education.
The skills necessary to succeed in life are taught to students, and among them are how to communicate effectively with their peers and their teachers and administrators, among other things. When they graduate, the skills they have gained to be self-sufficient and prepare for the rest of their lives will be invaluable to them in their future lives. The technological advancements made by Tong were, in my opinion, far too advanced for the environment in which he was growing up. He was probably under the impression that the other students were immature and did not feel comfortable in their company, and he was correct about that. His decision to attend community college rather than his high school due to this experience is one I applaud him. When faced with his circumstances, many students might consider dropping out of school, but this is not the best course of action in this situation.
George F. Will’s article “College President’s Plan: Abolish High School,” where he expresses ideas that I had never considered before, piques my interest. The author cites several factors, including the fact that education has emerged as the most pressing social concern and, as a result, the most potent political issue at the moment. Other factors are rooted in the history of the United States, while others are more recent developments. Introducing Mr. Botstein, who is not an advocate for the abolition of high school but rather for a change in the overall structure of our educational institutions, Will explains how he came to be there. According to Botstein, high school was established for children between the ages of 15 and 18 at the time of its establishment and were still considered children.
Those children of that generation were young adults when they were children. They were physiologically and psychologically more advanced than when they were children themselves when they were young adults. Over the last century, we have artificially extended childhood by a decade or more. We have also wholly separated young people from adults, destroying the “child-adult continuum” throughout history. It is a trend that will continue. The majority of the time, when adults observe young people misbehaving or underperforming, they respond by further infantilizing them, which often results in even more significant distress among our children.
Some educational leaders in our country are far more trusting of our country’s youth while also acknowledging the dangers of infantilization and social isolation that come with it. President of Bard College for over a decade and the youngest college president in American history, Leon Botstein, has called for the abolition of our high school system, citing the obvious: high school is a waste of time for the vast majority of students—those who have not already dropped out and should be abolished. I agree that our high schools need to be reformed in some ways. However, as previously stated, canceling high school is not the solution. To address the fact that students are struggling because they are not being challenged, we must start with our educational systems in elementary school. We have to get started because focusing solely on high school students is counterproductive to our goals. The right to an education that will prepare them for the rest of their lives is guaranteed to all children. The general public should support the American educational system because it educates the children who will be our country’s future.
Will, George. “College President’s Plan: Abolish High School.” TexNews, 1998.