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Editorial: Courses provide skills for the future

Megaphone Staff

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Many high school students are rather familiar with the concept of an AP class. They are aware of the increased amount of homework hours, amount of reading and amount of studying that goes into preparing and excelling in an AP class. Students take these classes for several reasons including, but not limited to, that they look good on college applications, they are more challenging than an honors level course and they prepare students for a college level class. 

These classes are certainly meant to push our educational knowledge and develop us into high-achieving individuals, but they also help prepare us for life after school. The question that arises, however, is what are the most important skills that can be garnered from participating in an AP class.

 A column in The New York Times last month indicated that the College Board asked a similar question attempting to understand what is critical for high school students as they prepare for jobs and living on their own.

The columnist’s answer, simply put, was computer science and the U.S. Constitution. Mastering those two codes was their most salient advice. 

According to The New York Times columnist, “Their short answer was that if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. 

“And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.”

Building off of their answer, it is important to note that computer science and the constitution are two very powerful things in this century.

In this world of technology, we need to be able to process all the data surrounding the internet and learn to interact with our technological devices. 

Our society has been built upon these new innovations, which have greatly shaped the way we lead our everyday lives. There are a number of jobs calling for experience with technology as we continue to further progress in the scientific community and create businesses that survive on technology but also require an application of the humanities and the arts. 

When it comes to the United States Constitution, we are reminded that it is vital to our society that people are familiar with the First Amendment. In an age where politics have become extremely heated with a divisive president, it is essential to remember that you still have a voice. 

Understanding the constitution reminds students about to express their ideas in the real world that their ideas do matter and that they can speak freely of their beliefs.

“Think of how much more ready you are to participate in college and society with an understanding of the five freedoms that the First Amendment protects — of speech, assembly, petition, press and religion. 

“The First Amendment lays the foundation for a mature community of conversation and ideas — built on the right and even obligation to speak up and, when needed, to protest, but not to interrupt and prevent others from speaking.”

So those students planning on taking AP, think about taking an AP Computer Science class or an AP Government class.

Other AP classes as well as our school’s impressive International Baccalaureate program also provide students with the type of rigor and content of computer science and government.

Kudos to teachers who afford their students the opportunity to learn, to grow and to develop skills now they will use the rest of their lives. 

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