The Inefficiency of U.S. High Schools

U.S. high schools are not properly preparing kids for the college


The primary purpose of a high school in the United States is to get

kids into college. The courses taught in U.S. high schools are way too

lenient in their

grading policies and offer students much leeway. High school courses are too

lenient because high school teachers make them that way. One good example


proves just how much leeway secondary education offers students is that on


professors at the high school level accept late papers. Of course late

papers are

marked down, but this policy voids the purpose to having deadlines. Most


both public and private set strict guidelines on these matters and openly


their professors to do the same.

I turned in papers a week late in high school and still received

a grade of 70 % on them. This is coming back to hunt me in college because I


have a big problem meeting deadlines. Although I do not like to admit it, if

high school had been stricter in this respect I might not be going through

these many

difficulties right now

Most public high school teachers are astoundingly underpaid and

overworked with sometimes over fifty students in a single classroom. In the

last ten

years the average class size doubled according to a Time magazine study


in 1995 stating that throughout the whole nation classes have doubled in

size. The

article mentions that this problem has occurred and will worsen due to


immigration, a population expansion, and people migration to cities and urban


Some students that can afford a private tutor or the cost of private

education follow that

path. This is not fair to the majority that can't afford this. Again, the

lack of individual

and private interaction between professor ends up resulting in that the

student gets

half of the education. For some reason I don't know, the student ends up


paying the price of an inadequate and inefficient public high school system.

These statistics offer little incentive and motivation to get teachers to

take action and

lobby for change.

Governmental cutbacks have forced many schools to close vital

advanced placement and other college preparatory courses which are vital for


student aspiring for a college education. It is becoming now more than ever


that states give private entities and teachers public school charters along

with grants

and financial aid to encourage the nation's public high schools, as


Governor William Wells said in a 1994 Time magazine article titled, "A Class

of their

Own," "to raise their standards and improve the quality of education for all


Public high schools around the nation should establish and "enforce"

stricter college preparatory curriculums because over 50% of high school

students that

participated in a Time magazine poll conducted in 1996 said they are

interested in

pursuing a 4-year college education. The article stated that fifty years ago

this would

not have been the case.

If over half the students attending U.S. high schools wish to pursue

university education then public schools should tailor their programs to meet

the needs and demands of the majority. It is important to know that there is

a small

percentage of the nation that don't even go to high school as the October

22, 1990

Time Magazine article, "Schooling Kids At Home," points out.

Parents send their kids to school confident that the school will prepare

them well for the future, but overlook that essential programs like SAT

preparation and

study skills courses are not offered. How must a school system expect that

one study

efficiently for exams if they don't show how. Clearly people have been

studying for

many years and there is no set way to study, but it helps to know what are

the most

time efficient ways to review for exams.

I feels that s "study skills" class should be offered in every public

high school around the nation. If this implies a great cost then study

skills should be

incorporated in the daily curriculum or at least taught once a week during

class. The

fact is that some time should be set aside for this essential class for which

there is

great need for. The same concept applies for S.A.T. preparation. Again I

propose the

conundrum, how must one be expected to pass the S.A.T if schools don't show

us how

to pass it. Many students are left to figure out how to prepare for the exam


assuming they even know how too study. I personally had to pay a costly