Saturday, February 20, 2010

High Schools to Offer Plan to Graduate 2 Years Early

If only this had been available when I was in high school. Of course the question would have to be what next when I did. Would I go to work or would I find myself enrolled in a college program when I finished my secondary education?

Either way it's difficult to assess whether or not this may be a worthwhile change undertaken in eights states. No more filling up the seats or just move on when you're ready.
Dozens of public high schools in eight states will introduce a program next year allowing 10th graders who pass a battery of tests to get a diploma two years early and immediately enroll in community college.

Students who pass but aspire to attend a selective college may continue with college preparatory courses in their junior and senior years, organizers of the new effort said. Students who fail the 10th-grade tests, known as board exams, can try again at the end of their 11th and 12th grades. The tests would cover not only English and math but also subjects like science and history.

The new system of high school coursework with the accompanying board examinations is modeled largely on systems in high-performing nations including Denmark, England, Finland, France and Singapore.

The program is being organized by the National Center on Education and the Economy, and its goals include insuring that students have mastered a set of basic requirements and reducing the numbers of high school graduates who need remedial courses when they enroll in college. More than a million college freshmen across America must take remedial courses each year, and many drop out before getting a degree.

“That’s a central problem we’re trying to address, the enormous failure rate of these kids when they go to the open admission colleges,” said Marc S. Tucker, president of the center, a Washington-based nonprofit. “We’ve looked at schools all over the world, and if you walk into a high school in the countries that use these board exams, you’ll see kids working hard, whether they want to be a carpenter or a brain surgeon.”
Dr. Martin Luther King believe it or not didn't graduate from high school. Yet he was admitted to Morehouse College at 15 and graduated at 19. You know young people who are ready for college find themselves there all the time. Of course I'm a believer in having a bit of a childhood before making that next adult step.

ALSO, my dad was a drop-out, but he did it at a time when many could afford to do so. That was a way of moving on, drop out of school to either support yourself or your family. My mother's family well it took maybe the last two of her aunts and uncles (out of 15 living children of my mother's grandparents) to finally finish high school by the time they reached 18.

Education was valued, but not at the cost of making a living. Especially if you and your family had few dollars to work with anyway. That was the case largely with my dad and my mom, neither came from backgrounds where the family had a lot of money.

Anyway if you had the opportunity to move on from high school, especially after taking a test and getting your diploma after two years of high school?

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