The drop off.

When I was in high school, those who wanted to go to college needed 2 years of Spanish. For the first two years, there was multiple classes per day to fit the demand. For those that went onto a 3rd year, there was only one class.

Roughly 80% stopped after the minimum requirement for college was hit.

The number of students in the 4th year class?

Just 3.

That’s right, three students took four years of Spanish.

Can anyone argue that learning another language, particularly with a country who is a strong trade partner and geographically our neighbor is worse than anything else that high school could be teaching?

Doubtful.

However, it wasn’t required, no need to keep pursuing more. That’s the mentality most take. Standing out, starts by taking a different approach, that usually means doing more than the minimum. The minimum shouldn’t be an objective, it should be a constraint.