Teaching- Today And Tomorrow In American High Schools

America confronts today a stinging reality where teaching in its High Schools, nay the college prep Schools has woefully failed to produce students with employable skills in adequate measure.

Statistics says that from High Schools, 30% go up for graduation, leaving behind 70% who are equipped with  no skills worth the name; another 30% exit as dropouts even out of this 70% who are driven to a life of poverty, penury and crime. It was some 30 years back, at the instance of Federal Task Force which rang the alarm “Nation at Risk” with a report that the old patterned High Schools were transformed as College prep Schools to push more pupils to graduation; but this change didn’t bring about the desired swing.

The fall-outs

The result is, even after this conversion, about 30 million have dropped out of American High Schools, with 70% of such dropouts contributing to today’s 2.5 million in prison and 4.5 million on parole and probation.

In the absence of career technical education (previous vocational programs), America has missed creating world-class workforce through its High Schools, thereby depriving itself of making global competition, and leading to a security crisis needing immediate attention.

In short, this 70% of students have ended up without acquiring skills for employment. As a corollary, poverty grips and dumps them into gangs, crimes and prisons instead of jobs.

Suggested remedies

Going by the above figures, “College for all” is a flawed strategy, and hence further frittering of money on it is to be stopped forthwith. The youth are to be redeemed, taught skills and put on jobs before it’s too late. Accordingly, the American High Schools are to be reconstructed into career academies which teach skills to students making them employable.

When implemented, 90% of students would get 4-year sequence of career technical education program that teaches employable skills along with importance of punctuality, group working, work ethics and pride of having employable skills. On the top of it, career academies also send good number of students to colleges, as normal schools do.

Results expected

America’s continued economic prosperity rests on its skilled work-force. Once labourers flourish, they will become small businessmen creating new ventures and jobs. Global work-force competition will become a dream come true. American families will survive well and crimes and prison will sooner than later will become things of the past.

The tussle between “college for all” and “Nation at risk” will come to an end with America marching into 22nd century with pride free from unemployment crisis. And teaching in the country’s High Schools of tomorrow will become highly meaningful and practical.