The alternative: Ensure high schools incorporate the latest digital and online educational tools. This includes: taking advantage of the potential in online courses; adopting new Internet-based instructional and assessment platforms to measure students' strengths and weaknesses and customize instruction accordingly; recognizing the collaborative power of social networking tools; and providing teachers with more ongoing, comprehensive professional development in education technology.
As a nation, we must come together and re-examine our previous notions of what high school is and does—and how it does it—and do a much better job of providing the knowledge and skill sets our young people will actually need to navigate and succeed in the 21st century. The undeniable fact is this: If we were designing our high school system from the ground up today, it would almost certainly not look the way it does now. To forge ahead, we must start anew.