Is a six-year high school key to America's future?
Think back to when you were in high school. Was it four years of fun, arguably some of the best times of your life? Was it tortuous? Was it merely the next step along your educational path?
But what did you learn while you were there? Enough to get ahead in life? Or enough to get by, pass the test and move on?
According to Rana Foroohar, a columnist for Time, the American high school system may soon get a makeover and that would be a good thing for the future of the country.
Foroohar wrote about a new P-tech school, a six-year high school program that hands graduates both a diploma and an associate's degree in a high-tech field.
She argued that the new system would benefit students because, in today's world, a high school diploma is basically worthless. To truly get ahead, she said younger generations need a college education and not one that focuses on non-essential skills.
Having only a high school degree means a future of $15 bucks an hour or below. But only a quarter of students who enter community colleges actually graduate (the rates are only slightly better at 4 year schools). Meanwhile, many of them that do graduate have skills that aren't suited to the jobs they'll actually need. We're graduating too many sports marketing experts, and not enough web programmers, and so on.
Tech industry giants seem eager to get behind the six-year plan. Students who graduate from Pathways in Technology Early College High School in New York are guaranteed a job with IBM.
President Barack Obama also recently praised the school for its forward-looking approach and emphasis on math and science.
While a massive educational overhaul is a ways off, more companies are showing their support and partnering with six-year high schools. If the new system becomes the norm, it will likely be one of the largest shifts in the history of America's educational system.
What do you think? Would you send your kids to a six-year high school?