Classes to an extent should be required by law. As far as core classes go the state should have the authority to decide what students have to take and for how many years. In New York State the education department requires all students to take certain classes for a certain amount years. Students in New York State have a higher graduation rate than average and are also better prepared for secondary education. Students should also be required to take so many non-core classes. Many schools offer classes that are tailored to specific interests and future careers. These could help prepare students for their future. Without being required to take classes students will not have the ambition and motivation need to take classes that will prepare them for college. We all know that teenagers will take the easiest route they can and if we give them the option to take classes they never will and the chances of a student going to college will greatly decrease.
Well, I do agree with you to a certain extent, however, the classes that people are required to take should be based off of what they want to do in life. Like a writer needs more english than math. A scientist needs more science than history. An engineer would need more science and math than english.
A good point that people should take classes more tailored towards their future occupation. However, that's what college is for. A lot of jobs including the ones you listed require a certain education and academic level. The reason why classes are mandated for schools is to prepare them for college or trade schools. We can't trust that people will pick a specialty and stick to it, considering many college students change their major on average three times before their junior year.
While you do prove to have a good point, however, the classes that schools require students to take. In Louisiana, specifically Central High School, the school lets you choose what career path you will follow and then chooses the classes that you need, plus some open times.
Since you're citing Louisiana I'll throw out statistics for my final argument. The graduation rate in Louisiana for high school is 72.3%. The rate for New York is 74%. Please take into consideration the incredibly large city attached to New York and the amount of drop outs within that city. Also take into consideration that New York's education requirements are higher than that of Louisiana so even though its a 1.3% difference, in actuality its far greater. The population difference between New York and Louisiana is 15,025,657 people, this only amplifies how much greater that 1.3% is. Knowing these facts it is a clear jump to say that New York has the stronger education system by requiring students to take certain classes for certain amounts of time.