The American high school, an institution with which most adults in the United States have at least a passing familiarity, has existed in largely the same form for the past 150 years, enduring continuing struggles to determine its form and function. Yet, despite such struggles, it goes about its primary duty of educating the young citizens of our nation. Some argue it does not do enough to educate our 14- to-18-year-old students; others say the high school has taken on too much of a burden and needs to scale back its aspirations to the most basic elements. Throughout the argument, the teachers, school psychologists, principals, and other school staff endeavor to do their jobs to guide our youngsters toward adulthood.

The high school first appeared in ...

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