One of Barack Obama's biggest goals as president is fixing American Education. The problem; too many students drop out of high school and college or don't even go to college, making them "useless" in society. Granted, we will always need people to flip our burgers and collect our garbage, but these people do not help to advance society as "learned" citizens do. People with a degree or specialization in a specific area earn a significantly higher salary than those who lack a "skill," and the reason most homeless people (not all) have no homes is because they do not have an ability that they can perform better than most other people. So how do we fix this problem?
However, regular high school and college is not for everyone. Some students are just not good at "book learning" that is done in a classroom for 7 hours a day. I will admit that there were times when I could not stand sitting still for such a long time, but there were students who were much worse off. For this reason it is important for high schools to re-instate "workshop" classes. Very few high schools today have woodworking, metalworking, auto-mechanics, and other similar classes which existed decades ago. These classes were cut in order to make room for the "more important" math and science classes, which really are not for everyone. These hands on classes provide another outlet for students to express themselves and find their abilities. They expose students to much more than books, and teach them a skill that can be used to make a living. One of these students might fail all of his or her other classes, but make a good living as an auto mechanic thanks to taking the class in high school. That is at least how school used to be in the past, before tests became the most important aspect of school and life.
Another great alternative for students who cannot handle book learning is Trade School. The students who excel in their shop classes in high school would go to college to become even better at their specific trade. A very good mechanic or craftsman could make as much money as a lawyer or doctor, because almost everyone has a car that needs attention to run well. Trade school could also be an alternative to regular students who did not do very well in high school or shop classes. Much like a liberal arts education from a college, these schools could teach a little bit of many different skills that are needed today. Someone might find a career in plumbing, which also makes good money, or even farming. This way, everyone will have some sort of skill/specialization that they can use to earn a living, making America better.
Unfortunately, there is the cost of going to college. Those who realize the importance of education are willing to take out loans, hoping to improve their lives in the long run. Obama's plan to have students contribute to the community in exchange for money for college helps a bit with the cost, but education is still worth it. If everyone went to some sort of college and learned a skill, society would be better off and poverty would be virtually demolished. The technological advances of the day really leave no reason for not getting educated. The technological advances of the day, really leave no reason for not getting educated. There are teaching degree online programs where you can learn to become a teacher. There are online courses that allow you to get a degree in healthcare, or computer animation. You can even get your law degree online; you never have to leave your house to further your education. There is really no excuse to not expand your education after high school. The benefits of going to college are tremendous, we just need to make sure that everyone goes.