Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Friday, February 19, 2010 :::

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.
I'm not quite clear on who's being targeted, then; the high school will then cater to the top and the bottom, while the middle leaves?
High school students will begin the new coursework in the fall of 2011 in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. The education commissioners of those states have pledged to sign up 10 to 20 schools each for the pilot project, and have begun to reach out to district superintendents.

The project’s backers hope it will eventually spread to all schools in those states, and inspire other states to follow suit. Supporters include the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers’ union.
I'm a bit more agnostic on that last point until the results are in; the best part of this is that a handful of states are doing something innovative and plausibly in a good way, and that we get to see in a few years what the unforeseen (and foreseen, for that matter) consequences are. Still, on a purely theoretical level, you have to concede this:
Kentucky’s commissioner of education, Terry Holliday, said high school graduation requirements there had long been based on having students accumulate enough course credits to graduate.

“This would reform that,” Dr. Holliday said. “We’ve been tied to seat time for 100 years. This would allow an approach based on subject mastery — a system based around move-on-when-ready.”
No kidding. I mean, can you imagine a job in which people are paid by years on the job, rather than by actual accomplishments? Oh...


::: posted by dWj at 6:47 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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