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In the early 20th century, there was a stable increase in high school enrolment and graduation rates. This is because of the second industrial revolution which led to an increased demand for white collar jobs. It is important to understand that the aims of secondary have the societal needs as their point of departure. The societal social, economic, political and even religious needs have hitherto determined the content. However, sometimes it is possible that the two i. e. high school education goals and societal needs may be out of touch thus making the education boring irrelevant and boring.
This paper seeks to highlight how American high school viewed as irrelevant can be rearranged to fit the needs of a rapidly emerging high-tech society in the United States. The paper also dwells on a model development of a flexible one-block schedule for a medium sized high school that will include provisions for both departmentalization and team instruction can be. It finally compares the issues and problems in the high school education in the past 50 years with the present ones. The emerging American society has become high tech and calls for a high degree of specialization in any field that an individual deals with.
Americans need experts in all fields. Based on the premise that there is need for experts in the job market, the products of high school education are found to be less prepared for this kind of demand. In the American education, there is no specialization until the sophomore year in college. Therefore, there is a pressing need to embrace specialization in the early years in high school to make the students better prepared for the job market. Another issue of concern is the fact that American students have full control of their education in that they choose even the core classes.
The curriculum drafters have the responsibility of ensuring that the languages, science and mathematics be compulsory because the respective skills of communication, critical reasoning and evaluation are necessary in the job market. Consider a model one block schedule for a medium sized high school. The model emphasizes the core or compulsory classes that each student must take. These core classes can be taken together in large classes by one teacher but when it comes to the electives, and then the classes need to be at the departmental level.
The departments need to develop there own timetables in consideration of the core classes timetable and a curricula tailored to be in tune with the job market specifications. The core classes need ton run everyday. A student is supposed to belong to at least one department and at most three. These are the departments that will help the students specialize in the field of his/her fancy. Before a student t joins any department, there is need for him to clearly describe his career to the careers master at the department so as to determine how what is offered at the department can fit the student’s career goals.
The career master is then supposed to advice the student to either join that department or refer him to another one which will fit student’s specifications. This model schedule emphasizes the concept of early specialization as a way of preparing the student for the job market. A number of issues have bedevilled secondary or high school education. The major one being lack of security in the school. The recent shootings by students with guns in schools serve to illustrate this rather unfortunate issue.
These shootings underscore the very responsibilities of the school officials of ensuring that students, teachers and other workers are safe while at school. Another issue is the completion rates of high schools which have stagnated for the last 30 years. If progress exists, there is need for the completion rates to be seen increasing. A major issue in education in American high schools is the lack of a nationalized curriculum.
Every state has its own specifications and this has in the past attracted cries for the nationalization of education so as to establish national standards that should be adhered by all states. The above issues are either a recurrence of last 50 years or new altogether. Fifty years ago, there was high security in the schools, the completion rate increased especially during the second industrial revolution due to the high demand for skilled manpower. For the case of the nationalization of secondary education, this has been an issue from time immemorial. Each state has been giving its own curriculum with a few resemblances here and there.