Graduation at 10th Grade?

This morning I got up and did my normal Friday morning thing.  I turned on the computer and looked at Yahoo’s front page news to read what they thought the world should know.  Yahoo posted an article about New Hampsire schools allowing kids to graduate during their sophomore year by taking a test.  The kids can take this test as many times as they want/need to take it.  If they’d like, the kids can stay at their high school through the senior year and take a much more difficult test so that they are better prepared for a University as opposed to community college.

The idea behind this is that allowing the kids to graduate in the 10th grade will save the school disctricts billions of dollars, which they can reinvest into early childhood education.  New Hampshire also says that the kids can then go to technical schools or junior colleges sooner instead of waiting for their 12th grade graduation.  And they note that the US is 10th in the level of education that its workforce has.  Other countries who are higher on the list than us allow their students to graduate in the 10th grade, so why not copy a model that works?

Looking back on my high school education, I think I can say that I felt like it was a waste of time.  I worked really hard in Freshman and Sophomore year, Junior year I started to slack off, and by Senior year I was bored out of my mind.  Then I get to Chabot Community College only to find that they’re simply reviewing the same information that I had been learning for the past four years.  I didn’t learn anything new-ish until I went to CSU East Bay after that.  If someone had told me that I could take a test and graduate high school during my sophomore year, I would have done it. 

Then I thought about concurrent enrollment.  My high school (Mt. Eden) offered concurrent enrollment at Chabot for its students.  The students had to be taking a class that wasn’t offered at the high school, and it had to be academic, but they could attend college classes in high school and gain college credits.  The only problem is that this wasn’t advertised so only a few people knew about it, and students were responsible for their own transportation.  I didn’t know enough about the program to take advantage of it. 

Also the clause that said students had to take academic classes that weren’t already offered at the high school really cut out a lot of the options students had for the college classes they could take.  Why not allow them to take a history class or an english class?  Why did it have to be computer programming, specialized business or the highest level mathematics ONLY?  Looking back, it just seems like neither school was behind this 100%.

I think that New Hampsire has the right idea with this project.  If I felt like high school was a waste of time, then I know that there are others out there who feel the same way.  It doesn’t make sense to keep people in schools, spending money on their education, if they’re ready to go on to bigger and better things.  School districts throughout the country should look at what they’re doing (and by that I mean look at it objectively) and think creatively about how they can reconfigure/remodel the education system to meet the demands that future employers will place in front of these students.  They are our future.  I don’t think that trapping them in high school really helps anyone.


1 Comment

  1. Coucou,

    Je suis Anna, J’ai 21 ans depuis peu
    Je vais bientot montrer mon activite sur un petit blog de francetv sur la musculation indoor
    peut etre pourrons nous echanger sur le sujet ?

    a bientot

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