The American School System

         “In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.” These were the words of Mark Twain, one of the most memorable American writers of all time, who quit school when he was 12. There are so many reasons that the American school system is flawed. One reason is that almost nobody likes coming to school every day. Also, failing school doesn’t necessarily mean failing life, therefore showing that school doesn’t give you all the skills you need to make it in the “real world”. In addition to that, the base of our schools is telling kids that the only thing that they need to have a successful future is a 100.

        What if I told you to spend at least 7 hours every day inside of a room with 20 people who also don’t want to be there and a person who helps you solve problems you wouldn’t have without them? You would probably be pretty mad, but this is what most of the kids in the world have to deal with. For Americans, this is even worse because the teacher’s salary is about $49,000 per year; less than average. Also, the typical American teacher spends about 12-16 hours every day at school. There are also countless reasons that students hate school. 86% of people report hating school at one point and 28% of all college students report sleeping in class on a regular basis, not only because of stagnant teachers but also because of homework overload. Another problem with the American school system is bullying because 30% of people report being bullied in school. Bullying can lead kids and teachers to hate school.

        Another reason that schools all over the US are failing students is that they aren’t teaching kids the skills they need to do well in the “real world”. Although many schools teach “teen skills” as an elective, it is not mandatory and students who don’t take that class may not be prepared for living by themselves. Our president, Donald Trump said, “We need to fix our broken education system!”and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk said, “Downloading data and algorithms into your brain is actually, well, amazingly bad”. Many successful people such as Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg quit school at one point, proving that, depending on your situation, quitting school can even be beneficial.

        My final reason that our school system is flawed is that it’s destroying students’ creativity and curiosity. There are so many examples of this in an average student’s time at school. For one, the teachers don’t allow kids to spend time at the library to learn unless it is “library day”. Also, the entire system is based on a number, and not on how much effort the student puts in. In our school system, kids are treated as learning machines, expected to sit still in place for hours on end, to finish mountains of work, and to memorize dates and facts and formulas about subjects that they may never use. Some students may spend hours on a project, but get a low score on it due to the fact that they may have done something that their teacher didn’t like, but any other teacher would have been okay with. In addition to that, every student is treated the same, which could end in some students failing, or others being bored out of their mind during class. This kind of system is also used for Another reason is that American schools put mathematics, science, language, and history over physical education and fine arts. Although math, science, English and social studies can come in handy sometimes, they don’t give you the skills you need that you receive from PE such as teamwork and leadership.

        I know you may be thinking American schools accept all types of students and are relatively cheaper than other countries’ schools, making them a great choice for your kids, but this can lead to bullying for the kids who stand out and have special needs. Although it is impossible for anything to be perfect, there are so many ways for American schools to be improved. For one, we could have a higher teacher to student ratio so that the kids can have more one-on-one learning. Another way for our schools to be more effective is flexible class times because 50 minutes nowadays just isn’t enough for kids to actually get in any quality learning. In other words, the United States’ education may be effective in many ways, but there is always space for improvement.

        All things considered, you may still be thinking that the positive qualities still outweigh the negative. If this was true, then why is the US ranked 17th in education out of 40 countries and not 1st? There is still hope because you can write a letter or email your principal suggesting more flexible class times, smaller classes, and setting up a placement test that places kids in classes that don’t overwhelm or bore them to death. If your suggestions are taken to heart, it can help secure a more positive future for American education.

Chocolate Milk Letter

Dear Mrs. Phelps (my principal),

My name is Joseph Zhang. You came to our classroom to explain the problem with chocolate milk. You said that chocolate milk was going to be discontinued at Barton Creek Elementary. You asked us what we thought of the problem and asked us to write to the school board what we thought. I believe that chocolate milk shouldn’t be discontinued because of how all the good things in it outweigh the bad. It contains all of the essential nutrients that kids need to grow. Also, many kids like the flavor of chocolate milk. Chocolate milk does not have as much added sugar as many people think

One reason that chocolate milk shouldn’t be abolished is because it also has the essential nutrients in white milk that kids need to grow. One cup of TruMoo chocolate milk contains as much calcium as 5 cups of broccoli, which helps children build a strong skeleton. It also contains as much potassium as a small banana. Potassium lowers blood pressure. Also, a cup of TruMoo chocolate milk has as much vitamin A and D as 2 baby carrots and 3.5 ounces of cooked salmon. Vitamin A is a vitamin that strengthens your immune system so you wont get sick as easily. It also improves the health of you bones and teeth. Vitamin D is a vitamin that can be produced in your body when you’re exposed to the sun, or in this case, chocolate milk.

Although many websites say that chocolate milk causes obesity, it can be easily avoided by only serving 2% chocolate milk at school. Chocolate milk shouldn’t be stopped is because it‘s a creamy chocolat-ey flavor that everyone loves. Studies show that children that drink chocolate milk aren’t necessarily heavier than white milk drinkers. Also, chocolate milk drinkers take in more essential nutrients than white milk drinkers. Chocolate milk also helps kids age 5-15 build a better quality diet.


Many critics claim that chocolate milk contains way too much sugar. While it might be true with some brands, chocolate milk does not have as much sugar as many people think. One 8 ounce serving of TruMoo chocolate milk only contains 1.5 teaspoons of added sugars. These extra calories can be easily burned off. Many companies claim that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink. I agree for many reasons. After a tiring swim practice, I always have a bottle of chocolate milk to refresh me. I have tried other things such as water, white milk and sports drinks, but chocolate milk is evidently the best recovery drink out there. The facts behind the drink are almost unbelievable. Compared to white milk, chocolate milk has twice as much carbohydrates and protein, making it the perfect recovery drink. Our lunch is after specials, so if we had PE, we could just buy a bottle of chocolate milk to replenish our tired muscles. If chocolate milk was removed, children would be more tired throughout the rest of the day after PE. They could drink other things, but none of the other drinks will re-energize them as much as chocolate milk.


Having chocolate milk at school is not just important for the kids. All milk productions will decrease by 10% just by removing chocolate milk from schools. Studies show that in schools that removed chocolate milk, the kids mostly bought white milk, but not drink it or bring their own chocolate milk. Chocolate milk has to stay! Thank you for reading my opinion on this problem.



Joseph Zhang