1. Why was dropping out of school in the 1950s less of a challenge than it is today?
Jobs were less complex at this time, and often paid well. Today, jobs are incredibly complex, involving knowledge of advanced computer and technology skills. The economy of the 1950s was plentiful with good paying, and stable, manufacturing jobs in the years after World War II, which did not require a high school diploma. As more manufacturing has moved overseas and the United States economy has become more service oriented, jobs increasingly require more complex skills, otherwise the only jobs available are "entry level." These jobs offer little avenue for advancement adn pay the lowest possible wages.
2. Students often complain that a high school education seems less and less relevant as our economy and society become more complex. If we could redesign the curriculum of a high school, what would you suggest to give students the greatest advantages when entering the workforce?
Answers will vary, but students may suggest more hand-on training, or less of a focus on required courses that students are not interested in.