This piece is written by an eleventh grade student, IR, who has started a streetwear line, VIBE$, and who is concurrently enrolled in community college classes in the history of apparel and fashion. He will be sending this piece to our superintendent and to the members of the Oakland school board.
The public education system is flawed. A student is required to write multiple essays on the history of the U.S government in the average public high school. In a couple of years the student is a college graduate and pursued a career in architecture and of course he wouldn’t have known what he needed to know to make it here without completing those essays on the Civil War, right? I know for a fact that my interest in design didn’t sprout from any of the school work I’ve done on U.S history. Public high schools are forced to teach all these math equations and history essays to the youth expecting that to help us prosper in great careers. This method is outdated and needs to be replaced with a new way of teaching.
A change in public education starts with the teachers of public high schools. Teachers need to start teaching in methods that encourage independent learning. Success is triggered by personal initiative. If you don’t initiate yourself to learn and study what you want to do then it’ll never happen. Public high school’s current teaching methods don’t encourage any of this so it takes time away from what these students really want to study in. How is a future architect supposed to go to college prepared for the field if they wasted all their time in high school researching the history behind the Declaration of Independence?
A public Oakland high school I currently attend called MetWest High School executes public education in a way every public high school should. It encourages independent learning by requiring its students to get internships in local businesses related to what they’re interested in. They then present on what they learned at these internships through reflections and presentations. The classes at MetWest also teach on topics related to math and history but with a twist that relates to the students more like a math class based on stocks and banking or a history class teaching about the history of Latino culture. These methods all cause students to become way more involved in school than the average public high school and raises the chance of success in the students preferred field. Public education in the rest of the high schools should take notes and adjust themselves to become similar to MetWest in order to ensure the future success of our youth.
By IR, September 14, 2015