Mandatory Electives?

Paige Hosbein After high school, there are numerous challenges young adults face— choosing a candidate on a ballot or creating a budget on excel, for instance. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tackle these obstacles head on with confidence?  Although making more classes mandatory poses limitations on free blocks to take electives and finding teachers to teach these multiple classes, students may reap benefits from this requirement in the future. There are numerous perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of teaching practical skills in a class setting.  In Finance, an elective at Latin, you learn how to effectively use Excel. You learn to calculate your average spendings, make projections for the price of an investment, plan each year’s student loan payments and research expected salaries, to name a few.  Furthermore, in Honors American Politics, students learn about the distinct features of the American Congress, Judiciary and Federal courts.  Their education on the foundation of our government gives them a better understanding of political issues when voting for the first time and how the different parts of the government interact.  Olivia Syftestad, a freshman who is new to Latin, noted that electives like politics and finance are crucial because they provide students with important skills and knowledge that they can “carry with them for the rest of their lives.”  She makes an excellent point because all adults need to plan their personal finances and should be educated on American political topics. Finance is not just for those who want to major in business because everyone should know how to manage their personal finances, from deciding how much money you can spend on a house when you’re older to planning your retirement, everyone needs to have these skills.  Although these types of classes are offered in college, you need to manage your personal finances and vote before you have finished college.  These numerous skills would benefit all young adults, no matter their future occupation.   On the other hand, two sophomores George Landsberg and Jonathan Wuyan, agreed that it would be beneficial for some who choose to “pursue financial or political  related occupations” in the future, but, it might be a “waste of time” for others who would like pursue a different career.  Stephanie Pollock thinks that people should be able to choose what electives to take.  She acknowledged that “electives are a student’s one chance to have complete freedom” in their schedule and making certain electives a requirement would defeat the point of being able to choose whichever you are interested in.  For instance, a student wanting to major in photography in college may benefit more from taking an extra photography class rather than politics.  However, some may still argue that finance and politics do not only teach skills necessary for various jobs, but that they are skills that all adults need to know to simply get through life.   Both sides have well reasoned arguments for and against, but even a photographer needs to calculate their income and spendings and figure out how much to charge for their work and save for their retirement.]]>