To teach students a core curriculum (e.g. basic math, reading, science, history)
To teach students useful life skills (e.g. health, sex education, work ethic, personal finance)
To enable students to find jobs after they’re done with their education
To produce students that can outscore other nations on exams
To instill moral and/or religious values in students
To instill patriotism and/or good citizenship in students
To help students lead happy lives
To keep minors busy so they don’t get into trouble
To identify the students most likely to become future leaders
Other (please specify)
With how obese kids are getting, anything to encourage them to exercise is a good thing. Besides, past 2 years of PE, these have always been voluntary at schools i went to.Sports programs
It's always been voluntary, again, and I don't see why it should be dropped.Music
I believe a certain amount of scientific literacy is very important in this day and age.Chemestry
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet the Makeout Hobo, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).
It's almost impossible to pick just one. And which would/should be the primary focus would also depend on what age bracket you're discussing. I'd like to see the following things emphasized in education:
1. Basic knowledge. Reading. Writing. Math. Those are essential skills to be able to function in our society. No one should be without them.
2. College prep and/or vocational training. Yes, we should be preparing our children for their future.
3. Instilling a general snese of patriotism. I'm not talking about brainwashing or hard core propagandaization. I mean just teaching a respect for our nation's history and our principles (even if history shows we don't always live up to them). Things like liberty, equality, opportunity, freedom. They give future generations a sense of who we are as a nation. Or at least, who we want to be as a nation. A common set of values helps unite us. This is a good thing.
4. Critical Thinking. I think this one might be the most important. In a democratic and capitalistic society that emphasizes freedom to choose, people need to learn HOW to make good choices. We're exposed to so much propaganda - be it advertising for a product or political spin for a candidate. People need to be able to look at what's being presented to them and judge it on their own. They need to be able to cut through all the BS.
I know some folks have said schools have no place in doing sex ed, or instilling values or morality. I would like to agree. It would be great if schools could just focus on the four things I listed above, but parents are dropping the ball en mass and are forcing schools to try to pick up some of the slack. It's usually a losing battle, but how can you educate a child when that child has no sense of respect for authority? Or honesty? Or self control? I think most educators don't want to be in the business of instilling morality or values, but feel they have no choice because so many children are raised by people who are complete and total failures as parents.
Slipping into madness is good for the sake of comparison - Unknown.