The students at Manhattan’s LaGuardia High School, the high school that inspired the movie and TV show Fame, are hopping mad.
They staged an hours-long sit-in to protest the role academics plays in their high school. The school’s principal is enforcing academic standards and wants more rigorous requirements, including more emphasis on Advanced Placement classes. The students argue this is not appropriate for a performing arts high school. “We’re not here to be the most perfect mathematicians,” Eryka Anabell, an 18-year-old senior, told the New York Times. “I’m here to discover myself as an artist.”
It is easy to dismiss the students as just wanting to get out of math class. But they do have a point and are making an increasingly common argument: High schools need to prepare students for more than college admissions. LaGuardia aims to teach their students a trade. As student debts mount, many politicians and scholars say we need more vocational education at the high school level that puts less emphasis on college curriculum and more on job skills. Read more