Racism, violence, sexual harassment, drugs—everything you encounter in the outside world is in high school. Despite changes in our society and our children, high school has existed for more than 400 years with relatively few changes.
Oprah talks today with teens, parents and educators about whether High School itself is the problem.
Dr. Leon Botstein
A Controversial Plan
Dr. Leon Botstein, President of Bard College and author of Jefferson’s Children: Education and the Promise of American Culture, says we should just get rid of high school after the 10th grade and start a new system that graduates students when they are 16 years old.
Other comments from Dr. Botstein:
- High school is just an artificial world that’s sports-dominated, clique-driven and nothing more than wasted time for our children.
- Since high school is segregated by age we are creating a world in which status is the most important thing.
- Mediocre people write tests. Tests don’t have anything to do with the education of a child — so there’s no connection with learning. Since modern technology exists, Dr. Botstein suggests we could have tests that emphasize learning, not correctness: a young person gets an answer wrong and understands why, and if they guessed it right, they’d also understand why.