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Avoiding The "Decision Traps" Of Maintaining Existing American High Schools Systems

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Avoiding The "Decision Traps" Of Maintaining Existing American High Schools Systems

In his post-Columbine tragedy editorial, "Reality Check: Time To Abolish Obsolete High Schools", Leon Botstein attempts to avoid "decision traps" as he proposes a significant remake of existing, American high school programs. Botstein does not and cannot offer complete details of a new high school system (cost, small-scale test-runs, implementation, etc.) in his ten-paragraph article. Nevertheless, Botstein has begun a healthy meta-decision process by helping high school stakeholders (students, educators and communities) define the crux of their impending issue - American high schools are becoming out-dated, requiring significant overhaul.

First, Botstein emphasizes the need of high school participants to avoid being "fooled about existing feedback" by recounting public testimony of high school environments as cliques, worlds of insiders / outsiders, and ultra-team-sports-driven. Second, Botstein believes that status quo individuals simply have not kept track with the times; real and virtual images and information (all associated with adulthood) are now available to every 15 and 16 year old. As a result of their lack of attention to changing biological and cultural factors, high school system leaders are failing to acknowledge that children are growing older sooner. Recognizing this indifference, Botstein campaigns to eliminate the flaws and obsolescence of current high school institutions.

Readers can argue that Botstein succumbs to confirmation bias, recency effect, and vividness by presenting his new, radical "frame" within a month of the tragic Columbine incident. However with number of parties involved in the high school environment, Botstein could not be "plunging into" a decision. Overall, Botstein encourages necessary "reality check"

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