Stop making us choose

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The purpose of public education is to provide the youth with an opportunity to learn valuable lessons and information to assist them in the “real world”. They go through the tiers of the education system, starting with elementary and ending with high school, being told that if they get good enough grades, then they will be accepted into good colleges, and if they are accepted into good colleges, then they will find sufficient careers. Public education truly is a gift to all who have access to it.
With that said, it is interesting that high school students who decide to enter the workforce at a younger age are held to the same homework expectations as a student who isn’t. A student who works twenty to thirty hour weeks is still expected to complete an estimated seventeen hours of homework. In turn, students’ grades suffer for being a motivated, working member of society.
Joining the workforce at a young age offers many lessons and benefits that are crucial to a student’s growth as an individual. Learning how to satisfy a customer, to deposit a check, to work with others who you may not generally like and to be able to problem-solve are all valuable life skills that are not found in any of our textbooks. However, it is expected that they know how to complete all of the listed skills by the end of our schooling and be able to enter the “real world” with the ability to perform them.
How is it that we are expected to know these skills, but complete seventeen hours of homework per week as well? How can a student find time for a job, school, and homework on top of it?
The answer is, they can’t. There are simply not enough hours in the day. This forces students to make a choice: work or homework? Most students choose work because they need the source of income. Some students help parents pay bills, or they have bills of their own such as car payments and car insurance. Most students are saving money for college to further their education.
A student who is a member of the working class should have a limit to the amount of homework they can be assigned. Fifteen minutes of homework from each class is still a solid hour of practicing and enforcing concepts learned in class without forcing the student to make the choice between work or homework. Not only would this boost the grades of students who have jobs, but offer students who don’t motivation to enter the workforce as well.
Stop punishing the working youths of America for acquiring income to attend these colleges, and start offering an opportunity for the growth and development of individuality and skill set.

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Stop making us choose