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high school: is it necessary? (6-14-1)
Everyone needs to know all the same things. Didn't you know? No matter from where you've come, your upbringing, your environment. No matter where you're going, your career, your personal goals, (again) your environment. You need to know everything the person next to you knows. That's why we stick you all into the same school system. That's why no matter if you attend public or private school, your curriculum is fundamentally the same as always.
Of course, therein lies the key here?the fundamentals. Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic, as they once were. Who knows what they supposedly are now? Sex Ed has somehow gotten in there. History, geography, science. So much more than those three Rs have become commonplace fundamentals in school curricula everywhere. And yet, so many of the specifics of what we are all forced to learn will mean nothing in our lives later on. So much of the information imparted to us will escape just after, if not before, we are tested (and I mean formal, in-school tests, not those more important tests of everyday life) on it. So many times, we'll ask, "why do I need to know this?" And we'll be laughed at, ignored, or provided some pat answer that in the end probably would not hold up to any close scrutiny. The truth often is we really don't need to know a lot of it. When it comes to the details of things like waterloo, sure it can be interesting, even riveting, when you get into it, and sure there are people who can make whole careers out of knowledge of such things (not just as teachers forcing the next generation to learn what theirs had to, either), but it really will never come up in life later on for most of us, and the idea that it might be important, not just to one of us but to all of us is what is truly laughable.
A person can carve a niche for himself in this world, raise a family, make a living, be happy, without knowing how to read, without knowing 1+1=2, without? well, you should get the idea. Happiness does not depend on an education. It certainly can, of course, as some people set themselves on paths helped immensely by an education, so success and thus happiness could understandably hinge on an education. But, for most people, allowing of course the possibility that they've not been brainwashed (which, we all pretty much have been) into believing life requires an education, it is not important that they know anything.
Mankind survived for millennia without our modern school system. Sure, we pretend that we are advanced over our ancestors (I mean technologically, educationally, culturally, not evolutionarily, as that is the subject for another day). But, are we really? And, if we are, is it our educational system that makes us so? Does a milker of cows really need to know who fought at Gettysburg? Does a nuclear physicist need to know who lived on Walden Pond? While such knowledge can enrich our lives, I?ll admit, is it all really necessary?