I started programming at age 10 on a Vic-20. By high school (1987) I wanted nothing to do with literature classes, but I had it crammed down my throat that one needed to be well rounded, and science and mathematics just weren't enough (I didn't go to Catholic school, so that isn't a literal cramming down my throat). Then came the magnet schools, and their more targeted programs; but alas, it was too late for me.
My opinion: Kids need to be well rounded coming out of high school. Writing should be emphasized more, based on the writing quality of my peers and those younger than me. What we need to change is the idea that we must go to college, and that trade jobs are for blue collar people.
I fear we have created a chasm between the college and no-college crowd, and a strict division of college and no-college jobs. College people largely end up with high-level skills; no-college people end up with practical skills that used to be viewed as essential. We college people have divested ourselves of having to truly know that world. We consume at a level that allows us -- and sometimes even requires us -- to live in blissful ignorance.
In conclusion: Take your college degree and learn how to make your own sausage. Or bread (without a machine). Or soap. Or operating system.