District-required classes set students at a slow PACE

Illustration by Alexis Garrison and Esmeralda Harvey.

Illustration by Alexis Garrison and Esmeralda Harvey.

Story by: Libby Sullivan, Business Manager

During their high school careers, students must complete semester-long courses like Health and Personal Academic and Career Exploration (PACE). Even so, the current mandatory classes do not help educate students and only take up space in their schedules.

Although students must take certain classes, teachers do not have to follow certain guidelines in order to teach them. The quality of the class completely depends on the teacher’s involvement. Since many of the teachers get pulled away from their main subject to teach the other classes, their dedication to the subject can range from full attention to none at all. Some teachers choose to become completely involved in that class, while others just put on a video every day or make students fill out blanks on a worksheet. This creates an unfair balance between students who gain information from the mandatory classes and students who do not learn anything.

While the district may think some of the topics taught in mandatory classes seem useful to students, a lot of the information taught in the class will not hold up outside of high school. Forcing students to take the mandatory classes just takes up space on their schedule – taking away from electives they could be using to get a head start on their future.

Many of the students in the mandatory classes simply stay there because they have to. Some students tend to treat classes as a joke if they do not find it important, which happens quite often, especially in mandatory classes. Only putting students who have an interest in the subject into those classes will improve the classroom environment and the knowledge acquired from the classes.
To avoid taking away from student’s education, the district should rethink their policies concerning “mandatory” classes, and make them optional for students who actually have an interest in the subject.