Mounting Evidence Suggests Students Ill Prepared

Sofie Blaj, Staff Writer

For the past 9 years of my life, treacherous exams and hours of homework or essays have made me want to pull my hair out. I am not looking forward to the escalating workload that that my remaining high school career is sure to bring.

The one thing bolstering my motivation is the promise of success as a result of conquering these academic challenges.  I expect to attend a good college and from there, instigate a lucrative career.

But new research contradicts this expectation.  There is evidence that my efforts may be an exercise in futility.

Skills and knowledge developed in the classroom is not a guarantee of success in the real world. A majority of the curriculum focuses on areas that some of us will never revisit again.

In a Harvard Magazine article, Harvard professor David Perkins acknowledged that the topics being taught in schools are not worth learning.”Unfortunately all of that test knowledge, all of that accumulated knowledge we thought was worth knowing, becomes useless if not used,” Perkins said.

My experience is that there are students who feel underprepared for both the college application process and the pursuit of real-world employment.  My peers have doubts about their ability to compose an effective application essay and their ability to navigate a job interview.

While the college experience is considered by some to be an opportunity to develop independence, new research from The Guardian reports that “those aged 20 to 34 are now more likely to be sharing a home with their parents than any time since 1996.”

This may be more evidence for how our education system is failing to prepare students for life beyond graduation.

Moraga is a wealthy community and many families live here precisely because they believe the area’s schools will be a spring board to future success.  Yet, according to the mounting evidence, this may not be the reality for some of Campolindo’s future graduates.

Rather than adding more Advanced Placement classes, the district should consider offering courses that provide the practical skills so many current students seem to be lacking, like how to balance a checkbook, sign up for healthcare, pay taxes, and apply for a mortgage.

While a semester of economics is required for seniors, the class is not sufficient for the decades of real-life financial decision making that lies ahead.

Unfortunately, it seems that schools are keeping students in the dark about the things that may matter the most.