As Education Declines, So Does Civic Culture
Opinion Article Response
Should our primary concern be how American students rank in international math and science scores or whether the United States can be a prosperous democracy? Jonathan Jacobs aims to answer this question of policy by targeting the declining American education system in his opinion article in the Wall Street Journal. He states that "the decline in education means a decline in the ability of individuals – and ultimately the nation as a whole – to address political, social, and moral matters in effective, considered ways”. Jacobs uses examples of high school and college students that lack the skills necessary to obtain a job or even answer a basic question regarding the political world they live in. His main argument addresses that education should be serious and challenging, and until it reaches a level of critical thinking and discipline, it will negatively affect the nation’s politics and policies. I agree with Jacobs that the aim of education has been skewed and should be fixed before it reflects poorly upon our country.
As a high school student, I constantly find myself questioning the purpose behind certain subjects and work I complete because I don’t see myself using trigonometric sequences or organic chemistry equations in my future. While I place myself in challenging honors and AP courses, I have yet to learn life skills such as paying taxes or how to interview for a job. There is the constant pressure to get through school and get into a good college without learning the fundamentals of being an adult. Although I attend school in a prestigious county, other students are not so fortunate. While they still face that pressure, they are being moved through school regardless of their academic accomplishments and will enter the world ignorant of basic knowledge, which makes Jacobs’ main concern of a declined civic life.
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