Byers Career Management South Brunswick HS

2.01: 2

Are Public School Students Prepared for the "Real World?"

By Grace Chen

Learn about whether or not public school students are prepared to enter into the "real world" upon graduation, and how schools are changing their curriculum to meet changing economic needs.

With a seemingly intense focus on standardized tests and rote memorization, are public schools effectively preparing kids for the "real world" beyond high school boundaries? The answers may be troubling.

In fact, nearly 82 percent of of college students report that if their secondary educational experiences had established higher standards, they would have happily exerted more rigorous efforts as students. Additionally, as the National Governors Association reveals, approximately 65 percent of current high school students desire more demanding and interesting courses.

As schools struggle to meet academic expectations while simultaneously adjusting to budget cuts, are current public school students are lacking a sound preparedness for life after graduation?

Are Tests Helping Students Gain Relevant Experience?

In an attempt to boost the performance of all public schools, federal legislation implemented the No Child Left Behind act.

This act, established nearly a decade ago, mandated increased student testing in order to verify the effectiveness of each individual public school's progress and instructional practices. While this act had ideal intentions, many have realized that the initiative merely distracted students from learning, while emphasizing a new focus on testing and progress scores.

An American Diploma Project, Achieve is one of the leading programs striving foster real-world readiness among public school students. As Achieve reveals, "To close the expectations gap and better prepare students for college and the workplace, states must first ensure that high school standards reflect the real-world skills and knowledge students need to be successful after they graduate." As the academic...