Boomers Could Never Survive High School Today

Teens today are held to an absurdly high standard in comparison

Gina Denny
GEN
Published in
9 min readApr 7, 2022

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a silhouette of a woman in front of a smart board, working on a math equation
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

In the early days of the pandemic, I was doing school-at-home with my oldest child, who was in 9th grade at the time. He was doing algebra and it wasn’t going well; math isn’t his favorite subject.

“At least this is the last math class he’ll ever have to take,” my mother-in-law said cheerfully. She lives with us and had front-row seats to the train wreck that was school-at-home in the spring of 2020.

My son and I both stared at her, wondering if we misheard her or if she didn’t understand what was happening.

“He has three more years of math,” I said.

“Three more years?” She made a face of revulsion. “After algebra? What is there even to teach after algebra? That’s the end of math!”

My mother-in-law graduated high school in 1964, decades after public education reform began in earnest in this country. I thought, surely, she was mistaken. She was remembering it incorrectly, she had certainly taken more math past her freshman year of high school.

I looked it up, for my own peace of mind, and found … she was right.

High School in 2022 is VERY Different from High School in 1965

In 1965 in Arizona, students attended 175 days of school from 9:00 AM — 3:00 PM. Roughly 1,050 hours.
In 2022 in Arizona, students attend 180 days of school from 7:20 AM — 2:40 PM. Roughly 1,350 hours.

350 additional hours in a year, and that’s just time in the classroom, that doesn’t take into account the increased difficulty of homework or the expectations of multiple extracurriculars. 350 additional hours per year, and school isn’t year-round.

In 1965 in Arizona, students spent 30 hours per week in class for 35 weeks.
In 2022 in Arizona, students spend 36.5 hours per week in class for 36 weeks.

In 1965 in Arizona, students were required to finish three English credits, two social studies credits, one science credit, and one math credit.
In 2022 in Arizona, students are required to finish four English…

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Gina Denny
GEN
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