Stay in school kids.
I may have given this very lecture to my own kids. But, I have no such argument for algebra. I have never once used algebra, which was a total waste of time and brought down my GPA significantly, not to mention my self esteem. No, the only math that's essential for everyone to learn is calculating percentages. For tipping and taxes. Not to mention recipes. Put that in schools. I'd call it Everyday Math. And there would be a lot of field trips involved. Going out to lunch, getting haircuts, checking into hotels, river rafting, going to bars and strip clubs. (Those last two are for educational/tipping calculation purposes only.) Cause learning who to tip and how to tip would also be included in the mandatory core class.
How important is this to American culture?
I think Usher said it best. "If you dance on a pole, it don't make you a hoe." Which just may prove my point. BECAUSE POLE DOES NOT RHYME WITH HOE. And just because you bleep out "hoe" for radio airplay, we all know exactly what you're saying. We're American. We may not be the most literate country in the world, but we know how to read between the lines just fine. In fact, I think we invented it. And furthermore, the fact that women can make more stripping than they can with a master's degree is horrifying. I know this because if I swapped my profession (writing) with my hobby (pole dance) I could actually earn a living.
And you've just been skool'd by Usher
I think his meaning really comes through in that song. Especially when it's overplayed on every radio station. Inundating our youth with it's cautionary tale. Sex sells, substance doesn't. I offer up E. L. James as further proof of this fact. The message is clear, stay in school, the world needs you to change it.