Monica Beyer


The American High School Is Obsolete. Let’s Do Something About It.

Here’s how we can break free of the 19th-century factory model of education.

High school hasn't changed much. Public domain image uploaded by Wikimedia user SLQbot.

For nearly two centuries, American high school students have taken essentially the same daily journey: Not long after the crack of dawn, they head to a classroom of about 800 square feet, seated with 30 or so other students. Then they’re lectured to on a topic dictated by an established standard. They wait for a bell to ring, then rush through the hallways to get to the next classroom before another bell rings. If that process sounds a little like an assembly line, that’s no coincidence—our modern education system is actually the brainchild of an educational reformer from the industrial revolution named Horace Mann.

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