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A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

for Preventing the Children of Public Education From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country by Making Them College and Career Ready

by Sarah Almeda

It is a melancholy object to those who surf our Internet, when they see that America has the lowest college completion rate in the developed world, just 46 percent of Americans completing college once they have started. However, all of the net job growth since the 1970s has been in occupations that require some post-secondary education. America’s abominable unemployment rate shows that the education system has failed to keep up with the changing nature of our job market, a very great additional grievance, especially for Americans that identified unemployment as the country’s biggest problem in a poll from earlier this year. There’s no single reason for the present deplorable state of our higher education system and work force, but the government run K-12 school system indisputably a significant factor. Therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, easy, and quick method for making these children fully prepared for higher education and for improving the workforce would deserve so well of the public as to have her statute set up for a preserver of the nation.

I have been assured by the actions of very knowing adults that a young, healthy child, if properly educated, is at fourteen years old perfectly capable and ready to start their career.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that the public education system be reformatted so that young workers are prepared and ready to apply for college at ten years old.

I humbly propose that a great number of presently useless, time wasting features of our public education system can be eliminated to achieve this ideal–– preschool, for example, is a silly and pointless practice indeed. The typical preschooler enrolls at 2-3 years of age, but if a worker that age is considered ready for education, why not skip all of the nonsensical finger-painting and clay-smashing in favor of long division? I compute that, by eliminating art, music, P. E., and other unprofitable ventures like drama clubs and sports teams, a publicly educated young worker will be ready to take the AP Calculus Exam at most seven years of age. It would be especially time-saving to eradicate world history from the curriculum entirely, as Americans have no concern for countries besides our own, anyway.

A number of public schools are already leading the way; last April, a very worthy Long Island School announced the cancellation of its traditional end-of-year kindergarten show to avoid taking time off from “…preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills…”. These are actions of true love for our country and its future workforce.

A friend, whose virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased in discoursing on this matter to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said that the increasingly frequent instances of standardized testing suffered by the young workers in our public education system are inherently time-consuming and distracting, and that our country would benefit from the elimination of testing altogether. With due deference to so deserving a patriot, I cannot be altogether in his sentiments, for what better way to measure the a young worker’s potential and personal value than with a test score? Therefore I propose that we compile every facet of a young worker’s education into a single test that they will take to graduate, covering each topic of the standardized, state-mandated curriculum with one multiple choice question. (The test will have no questions of that time-consuming “essay” sort, as teaching young workers to creatively write is senseless and without value.) The outcome of this test will ultimately decide what college and career the young worker will be assigned to for his or her lifetime, eliminating that paltry routine of having the worker decide for themselves what they would like to do everyday until their death.

I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally effectual in creating a capable, competent, and innovative workforce of citizens out of the next generation. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, I desire the author will be pleased maturely to consider three points. First, as things now stand, how they will be able to solve the creativity crisis, the decline of innovative thinking in our culture. Secondly, how the potential of a person can be measured with more than numbers so inconclusive and arbitrary as standardized testing scores. And thirdly, how education could possibly can help a student find what they are truly meant to do with their life, and do well, so as to make the best contributions to their society as they possibly can and to feel fulfilled and happy while doing so.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our public education system and providing for America’s future workforce. I have no children by which I can enroll in public education, being myself sixteen years old and hellbent on moving to Finland before taking any such action.

The End

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