There are 50.4 million students enrolled in public schools according to the National Center for Education Statistics 2016 back to school statistics- about 70% of all Americans under the age of 18 and 16% of the population of our country. Every American is given the option to receive a public education. This idea of a free education is prevalent in many industrialized countries around the world. The difference between their public schools and ours is simple: ours has not changed since one room school houses whereas theirs is constantly improving and reforming. In America we are required to take mandatory core classes; math, history, english, and science. These classes benefit our post graduation lives as much as feet would benefit a whale. Is education not intended to prepare the student for adulthood? The importance of these classes are still very prevalent- it is necessary for us to do simple calculations; it is necessary for us to know the past of our country; it is necessary for us to be capable of communicating our ideas through writing; it is necessary for us to know scientific theories which explain why life is. As Americans it is important that we know the basis of each of these disciplines but emphasis has not been placed enough on the student to seek after individual passions. To understand the passion of each individual, which inspires a new perspective of our own; to understand the passion lodged in a single student, with such fear of disappointment, that I am continuously forced back to ensure I am not disappointing myself; to understand in simplicity the importance of individuality so well that it explains itself,- explains itself also to me against every possible lesson except my own findings,- these are teachings on the scale of human intelligence, to which they have conformed; and it is an injustice to this generation which has made individual passions foreign to them. In education, each student is expected to conform to the thought process of the curriculum; the passions of each student is dampened by the crippling pressure of the societal expectations placed on the growing minds of adolescents. Students are stripped from individual thinking - the possibility of answering wrong provokes more fear than the possibility that knowledge will not be understood, that it will just pass by. Many kids are holding back their questions or different ideas of thinking; in mathematics, for example, there are several ways to solve a problem but we are only taught one way. When students discover another method to answering the problem they are condemned for not following instructions. The strict guidelines established in the classroom restrict the natural thought process of a child’s brain. Kids are being told what to learn rather than given the power to administer their own education. US news rated the United Kingdom the best in education. This is due to the student’s ability, after the age of 16, to choose between a trade school or a classical school according to their future plans. This option creates more productive citizens and prepares students for their real world jobs - life after high school. There needs to be a change within the school system; teachers need to begin to consider individual passions and encourage the pursuit of these; America needs to refrain from restricting the creative minds of our Country’s youth; the idea of education needs to be changed. Education affects 100% of Americans. We are dependant on education for societal development, the preservation of knowledge should be our top priority.
A-Z, By Subject Index. "Fast Facts." Fast Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.