Guest Post: The American High School System

The American High School System

Rusted and Weathered

The American high school system has always had its fair share of ups and downs. Coupled with the media and American society, high schools have become more of a playpen as opposed to legitimate learning institutions. With this known there are still some institutions that are noteworthy for their pledge to academic excellence in their students. All is not lost in the realm of American high schools, but the odds are definitely not in their favor.

A Shaky Foundation

The American high school system has faced many faults in the past few decades, primarily because of the lack of emphasis placed on grammar school students to succeed after 8th grade. One would be quick to blame parents for this discrepancy; however, parents should not be the sole bearer of this growing burden. American media has glamorized high school as being a place for under-aged pregnancies, musical sing along sessions, and overly mature students. Images of this kind are continuously being embedded into the minds of American youth, and subsequently give them a preconceived view of what high school is and should be like.

Many institutions will be quick to defend their credibility with academic performance reports and school recognition. But what these institutions fail to realize is that the students create the environment for themselves. It is a social consciousness spread by sensational media and exemplified by the actions of each high school student that follow it. Basically put, the American high school system is a product of each student's imagination and as such, cannot be regulated by any school administration or acting board. Sure, mandates can be put in place to limit student behavior in and outside of class, but the imagination of the students will remain open for spheres of influence, and the American media will always be open to provide such a sensationalist sphere.

Shards of Light

Even with all the downfalls that have defined the typical high school experience there are still some elements to this necessity that should be brought to light. Without the system itself there would be an undesirable education gap that exists from grammar school to college. Even so, the high school experience is necessary for individuals to transition from being dependent on their parents to independent of their own thoughts and actions. Environmental factors primarily determine if this transition will be smooth, however, at the same time it is important for growing teens to experience the ups and downs of life at this time. History has taught us that no regulated system will ever be perfect. Nonetheless, the American high school system can and should always be open for development.


Louise Baker is a freelance blogger and journalist who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and online degrees. She most recently wrote about where to get the best online psychology degree