The Future, a Little Bit Earlier

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By: Sadie Knee

Are traditions worth breaking if it means we gain something greater? Are we so stubborn that we won’t make a change to give our children a better chance at life than we had? It all starts with school. Twelve years of life spent in traditional schools just aren’t giving students the best opportunities. Magnet schools specifically key in on certain careers or talents which they base their curriculum around.

Academics cause a lot of stress for high school juniors and seniors all over the nation. In high school, there is an enormous emphasis on getting students ready for college; however, according to a University Business study, close to one-third of major-declared undergraduates will change their major once within their first three years. Ten percent of those students will change their major more than once.

Magnet schools are a type of public school that offers special instruction and programs that aren’t available at traditional public schools. For example, students who are interested in aviation or theatre could potentially choose to go to an aviation academy or school for theatre arts. If a student chooses to attend a magnet school, most classes, if not all, are based around the specific career path the school is offering.

There is no difference in costs of magnet schools and traditional public schools. In fact, they are nearly the exact same. However, in 2012, a research study on magnet schools found that, in most cases, students’ attitudes and behaviors are more positive then those who are attending traditional public schools.

  • Students are less likely to be absent or skip class.
  • Students have higher educational and career aspirations.
  • Students report higher levels of parent involvement and a greater sense of community.
  • Students have more positive intergroup relations and less social tension.

Currently 3,400 magnet schools are supporting 2.6 million students reach their academic and career goals. Approximately 98,800 traditional schools are teaching students who either don’t want to be there or aren’t learning concepts that they desire to learn. If magnet schools produce more positive statistics, why are there roughly 30 times as many traditional public schools than magnet?

We expect 17 and 18 year old students to be able to make life-changing decisions about college.  People should invest more in magnet than traditional schools for today’s and future generations to allow students to make the best decisions they can make for themselves. The problem isn’t that high school students are being set up for failure, but are they really being set up to reach their absolute full potential?

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