Simple math: why schools should consider major news stories in their curriculum

The average high school day takes up about eight hours total. Throw in homework, jobs, and extracurricular activities, and it’s possible to stretch that number up to a hefty ten. Somehow, however, between all that school time there seems to be a serious lack of not including major news stories in the high school curriculum.

Students are busy enough as it is during the week, and with the temptation of social media or video games constantly looming over them they may be reluctant to keep up with current issues. This is a dangerous situation because as young adults students need to be aware of the society that they live in. America already has a stigma of its citizens being arrogant or “narrow-minded,” and it doesn’t help when high school students are being denied the discussion of major news stories because of the unwillingness of schools to adjust.

So what’s stopping schools? Well, a major issue that could make schools hesitant is the fact that many news stories are politically charged. There’s no way to predict what sensitive issues might come up, and schools would have to walk a very tight line on certain topics in order to avoid conflict between students or parents. Even then there is always the chance that someone could be offended.

Another issue that schools might face is how exactly to incorporate major news into the curriculum. Questions like how major news will factor into students’ grades, if it will be a part of students’ grades, and to what degree are complications in their own right. For many schools, it’s probably easier to just stick to the basics and avoid the hassle altogether.

One more point that should be made is how students themselves might react to having something so political be a part of their curriculum. Though recommended, it isn’t absolutely necessary to be up to date on all issues that plague society. Students may begin to gain an animosity towards anything political because they feel that they shouldn’t be judged on their knowledge of things that may or may not affect them in life, (the high school students’ classic argument against mathematics) and this well-intentioned idea could backfire.

It is important to take all these things into consideration when talking about incorporating something so controversial into public schools. As with anything relating to education, the key is that the students are given an adequate education that challenges them and prepares them for life after school. People may disagree on what is the proper way to achieve this, but without considering alternative options there can be no room for improvement. With the United States steadily slipping from its reign in education, as according to websites like Harvard Gazette, it is more vital than ever to keep focus on how to improve the education system. The world is constantly evolving to meet the demands of the upcoming generations, so broadening the scope of high school education may be just what the United States needs to gain lost traction and ensure the success of the country.