What One Woman Wishes She Learned in High School Illustrates Everything Wrong With Public Education

Over at Scary Mommy, Rita Templeton rattles off a list of practical things she learned in high school. You know, the typical stuff most high schoolers learn, like “my social studies teacher would ask no questions if you asked to leave his class because of 'female problems.'” Among other things Templeton, a mother of four, wishes high school had taught her the following:

How to cook a decent meal

How to maintain and fix your sh*t

How to fix sh*t made of fabric

How NOT to be a financial idiot

In other words, Templeton wishes her public education had included the following three life courses all but dead in today’s “Common Core” society: home economics, wood shop and metal shop.

Sound familiar? I have the feeling Templeton isn’t the only one who wishes high school provided a level of practical, real-world knowledge that would have been helpful, not just to us parents, but to us as young adults striking out on our own.

As the personnel specialist for a public school district in New Jersey, I was once tasked with developing a schedule for a substitute covering one of two remaining home economics teachers. “Do they still teach home ec?” I asked my boss. “Only to the special education students,” she replied. “We try to give them practical skills so they can potentially function well in group-home environments.” Because only the most severely disabled of students will ever need to know how to cook for themselves, obviously.