Shannon W. California

Education: The Only Thing America has not Improved

The United States' education system is disastrous.

Dear Mme./Mr. President,

The United States of America has evolved from simply thirteen colonies to one of the world's most powerful countries. We have found the cure to influenza, made technology better, invented cars, cell phones, started wars, ended wars, we have done so much that we are very much ahead in the world. But are we? We are advanced in almost every field except education. The very same nation that declared independence from the England cannot solve the problems of their very own education system. And I am disappointed in this nation for not being able to open their eyes and see the problems of our system today. 

As a high school freshman, I am used to being bombarded with school work and being tired all the time. I wake up at five AM every school day and arrive at school before seven AM to get breakfast because I do not have enough time to eat breakfast at my own house because I have busy finishing geometry homework that I didn't finish the night before because the clock had already hit midnight. I'm only fourteen, and I'm already getting bags and dark circles underneath my eyes from the hours of sleep I have lost to finishing school work, so I could pass and get a good grade. I am not meant to be worked to exhaustion as such a young age. But it's not just me. Tons of other students live the same lifestyle of constantly beating ourselves up just for a grade in a subject that wouldn't matter in the future we aspire to have. Teenage years are probably one of the best series of years we could ever experience with football games, dances, relationships, discovering ourselves, etc. But we are not able to live those years of freedom and youth the way they are meant to be celebrated if we are constantly having to work on papers, homework and study every single day of our teenage life. It's like we teenagers feeling like adults way too early.

Though we have advanced in almost everything, I have found that in a history project last year, the United States' school system has not changed in over a century. This is so disappointing since we, as country, have come so far in this world and became one of the world's major countries, cannot change something so important such as the education system. Over a century ago, schools were structured like the factories they were meant to serve, and they still are today. Keep in mind that schools were structured like this over a century ago. We live in a modern era where we have endless opportunities to jobs and careers, yet we are still educated like we are bound to serve a factory. Us students should be educated for the sake of our future, to be successful in life and to be satisfied with ourselves, not to follow a century-old social norm for graduates. So many of us want to be follow these paths, but being educated like we are to serve a factory is an obstacle in our way. In the nineteenth century, businessmen knew that a trained and educated work force was very important for the success of their businesses. This does not apply to our generation, so why are we still educated like we are soon-to-be factory workers?  We are in the year of 2016, not 1886. I am not a worker, I am a human being with dreams and a life, but education is building me to be the factory worker I am not meant to be.

Another problem with our outrageous school system is the concept of school being a competition. In high school it's a competition, in middle school it's a competition, when will it all stop being a competition? I am constantly worried of my grades as the semester goes by because I am scared of them dropping and not being one of the "best" of the school, and I am so tired of my useless effort to get me to the top of the school, but it's just seems like it's not enough. We think that being the best is a direct acceptance to the nation's best colleges, or to keep our parents happy and calm. But it's not! School is meant to educate us and make us smarter about the world, not make us teenagers even more stressed out. Yet we are still told by our teachers, our parents, our peers, that if our grade goes past a C, we are not going to make it out in the world. This is wildly absurd because we have so many amazing figures in history that did not finish school, or didn't do well in school, that have influenced our world today. So don't tell us that we can't reach out into the hands of the world if we aren't doing well in school. To tell you the truth, we're trying. We all are. But we cannot get better if we are worrying about this competition called school.

And most importantly, despite everything that our parents would say, school should be more focused on creativity nowadays. Our country isn't in need of anything else to push it further in to the world, it already has made its make, now it is time for us to chase our dreams. But the same old school courses taught over and over is not going to boost the creativity in our heads to make things, to invent and discover. We have kept our creative thoughts locked up in a shell by these repetitive course that tell you, "Do it like this," and "Do it this way," and "This is how you do it." And when we are told to make art, our minds go blank because we have not visited the land of creativity in our head. These courses are killing the liveliness in our heads, and we are slowly becoming one like the other. We are becoming identical to each other because we have not been introduced to the ways of being different. School tells us that we are expected to be the successful, straight-A student, nothing else. Well, we can't do that! Not everyone has the same brains, parents with two children can confirm that. We are humans meant to have creativity and make our mark on the world whatever way we decide to do it. Not to leave it like the previous tens of thousands of people. We need to be creative, but the same old, regular, repetitive school course we have to take blocks us from reaching it.

I know this really does not apply to you, since you have probably already graduated. But would you change our school system for the future generations of our country? The future of our country? Or is our school system going to be the most problematic thing the United States has while other smaller countries has succeeded in making it desirable and actually useful? As a country, we are falling behind on education, and it's a shame. These are problems we should have saw decades ago when life was peaceful, and still, we haven't. This country is so blind to their students, that it's like we don't even care about them. So I ask, please, for the sake of our future generations, change the United States' school system.

Santa Clara High School

Flowers English 9 Honors

Students in Flowers English 9 Honors Class

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