Have you ever wondered why you’re studying Shakespeare even though you want to be a landscaper? Or why you need to know trigonometry even though your just the manager at a walmart? The hallways of my school are littered with walking examples just like these. The only real answer that could be given is that trig and old english pieces are just a part of basic literacy requirements of today. It's not a very good answer, but at least it's acceptable. What i can't understand is why we don't place equal emphasis or even any emphasis on real world know-how in primary schooling.
Considering a large portion of students will never pursue any extra schooling, why not teach them something that may actually be useful? For example, teaching how credit works would be extremely beneficial. Students too often leave school and immediately destroy their credit by misusing credit cards. A simple course could save students from years of struggling with low credit.
Another thing I sincerely don't understand is how you can enter the world with 12+ years of schooling under your belt and not even know how to do your own taxes. It's such a pivotal part of life that is completely neglected by public schooling. I've seen a total of one tax form in all my years of schooling. Ironically it was a teacher that was complaining about how we don't learn real world things.
Students graduate into the world completely blind. The entirety of middle school prepares them for high school. The entirety of high school prepares them for college. But not once are you prepared for real world situations. You are coddled and cared for and then abruptly thrown into the world to fend for yourself.
You can't just say “well you can learn that on your own” because everything taught in school could very well be taught to yourself by yourself. Like it or not most people are inherently lazy, contempt with doing as little as possible to skate by. The only way people who don't want to learn learn is by forcing them to. Most of the information you learn in school is rendered completely useless after graduation anyway so why not force them to learn something that will stay relevant their whole lives?