Schedule full to the brim with required classes

Image+courtesy+of+MCT+Campus
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Schedule full to the brim with required classes

Image courtesy of MCT Campus

Image courtesy of MCT Campus

© Royalty-Free/CORBIS

Image courtesy of MCT Campus

© Royalty-Free/CORBIS

© Royalty-Free/CORBIS

Image courtesy of MCT Campus

In light of recent schedule decisions for next year, The Kirkwood Call chose to express their approval of and discontent with several of KHS’ required courses.

English: In a vote of 47 to 3, The Kirkwood Call decided that an English course for all four years of high school should remain a requirement. Required by MO law: 4 credits. Complex thought and clear expression: two skills essential for success in society. From job and college applications to casual debate, the topics covered in English courses enable students to express what they know and defend what they believe. Students against requiring English for four years might argue English is not related to their future career, but English is a relevant subject for any profession that requires communication, critical thinking or writing. Name one that doesn’t.

Health: In a vote of 44 to 6, The Kirkwood Call decided that a health course for one semester of high school should remain a requirement. Required by MO law: .5 credit. $147 billion, the medical costs associated with obesity in 2008. 35.7 percent, the percentage of U.S. adults who are obese. Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer, a few of the causes of death linked to obesity. The statistics preach for change, and change starts with the next generation. Educating students about what their bodies need to consume helps combat modern society’s unhealthy trend. Not to mention sexual education. Among teens aged 18 to 19, 75 percent say they know little or nothing about contraceptives. If there was ever a time a health course was necessary, it would be today.

Personal Finance: In a vote of 47 to 3, The Kirkwood Call decided that a personal finance course for one semester of high school should remain a requirement. Required by MO law: .5 credit. The instructions for the supposedly simple Form 1040EZ were 46 pages long. As taxes become more difficult to file and the nation’s economy evolves, all citizens need some prior knowledge on how to balance their budget and pay their taxes. The world of taxes is barely covered in school, but will follow students for the rest of their lives. The content covered in a Personal Finance course is relevant to everyone, no matter their ambitions.

Physical Education: In a vote of 39 to 11, The Kirkwood Call decided that a traditional physical education course for a full year of high school should not remain a requirement. Required by MO law: 1 credit. According to ABC News, more than half of Americans will be obese by 2030. While the education system has a responsibility to combat this statistical probability, to have the greatest impact the P.E. system needs to evolve to meet students’ circumstances. KHS athletes exercise 1-3 hours per day. Requiring a gym class on top of that makes no sense. Consider a student who wants to take an engineering course, but has no room in his schedule because of gym. A thirst for knowledge should not be limited by required coursework.

Fine Arts: In a vote of 26 to 24, The Kirkwood Call decided that a fine/performing arts course for a full year of high school should not remain a requirement. Required by MO law: 1 credit. The arts may have some impact on the way students perceive and learn, but a full year of arts courses clogs a student’s schedule. Those who are not talented artists and musicians must spend a full year learning ideas they probably will never care about. Exposure to eight years of the arts should have already told students whether or not they were talented in those subjects. Students could spend the year taking courses they were interested in and developing talents they know they have.