2011 – National 8th Grade 5th Place Award Winner:

Jessica Faragher, Minnesota.

Do the Ends Justify the Means ?

Having the Prior Lake High School school day cut down from a 7 hour day to a 6 hour day to save money was not a well-received move. Less electives gives students fewer options to learn about things that they are interested in and gives them less insight as to what they can and want to do in their lives. Is compromising the education of our youth really the best way to save money in our community and our state?

President Obama mentions the need to educate America in his 2011 State of the Union Address: “If we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas – then we also have to win the race to education our kids. Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.” That’s right. A quarter of American students aren’t finishing high school. Does reeducation of school hours and larger class size help any more people graduate high school? Help them do any better on tests? No, it doesn’t. In fact it makes the situation worse. Cutting large amounts of money from our schools budget seems to me like it hurts more people, not to mention our state and county, more than it helps it in any way. It seems like it adds to a bad, never ending circle. Insufficient education in our state would lead to even less funding by our government, leading to an even worse educational situation. Minnesota could fall behind in educating it youth. America, then, could fall behind. This does not help our country “win the future”

In this case I do not believe the ends justify the means in the least. The damaged future of students and even America in order to save on taxes and to try to help the budget crisis? No. I believe saving futures comes before saving money in the school budget.


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