What about those parents/students that want chemistry? So now you're offering public speaking AND chemistry AND drama AND stagecraft AND drafting AND computer science AND... AND... AND... And where does the money come from to find appropriately skilled teachers and equipment? What happens to courses that have low enrollment? How do you supply the space and scheduling to cover all the whims of a diverse population? What if those alternative courses don't equate to more successful students?
I think the main thing is that we have to ensure that our children are taught HOW TO LEARN! They need to be taught critical thinking. They need to learn process and at the same time learn about how intuition can be part of the process. They need to be taught to explore and experiment. They need to be taught to take risks, but calculated ones. That's really what school should be about is setting them up for making their own choices in College and the rest of their life.
The other thing I think about is that while I didn't see much use for Algebra or Geometry or quite a few of my other classes, what I'm finding out much later is that YES I do need those things. Why? Because I have kids that need DO see a use for those subjects and they need help with their homework. So it's good that I got that experience and I can go out and get refreshed and be of some use to my children so that they can go on to choose what they want to do in life, versus what I've pigeonholed them to do.
One thing that I see today is that our schools are just too large. They've consolidated in an effort to control costs at the cost of making things harder to manage and reducing that sense of community. The other thing that I thing our schools fail at is finding a way to interweave subject matter. For example, why shouldn't Science and English go hand in hand. Why couldn't the Science teacher ask the students to do a creative writing assignment about Chemistry or Biology and it be a joint grade between English and Science classes. It would show that the student had a mastery of both subjects and at the same time it would allow them to leverage the one that they were most interested in to get through the one they were less interested in (i.e. my daughter who loves English and hates Chemistry.) If the classes were shortened and interwoven the students would be more engaged and use the time more effectively. The other consideration might be to define some trial period to use the first few weeks to assess where the students are, which style of learning might be best for the individual student, which interleaving might work best for them, and then adjust their schedule to the set of classes and teachers that work best for that student (within some reasonable balance of class size and costs)