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High school should end in 10th grade, according to panel's proposal

sonoma1993

Diamond Member
May 31, 2004
3,405
19
81
WASHINGTON -- A high-profile commission warned Thursday that U.S. workers will lose more jobs overseas and will see their standard of living drop unless dramatic steps are taken to improve how kids are educated.

In a report, the panel called U.S. schools outdated and said they were failing to prepare students to compete in a global economy.

The group is proposing that high school end at 10th grade for many students and that teacher pension plans be scrapped for other benefits such as higher pay and 401(k)s.

The proposals, which likely will be viewed as radical by some, were presented by a decidedly establishment group that includes two dozen ex-Cabinet secretaries, school officials and business executives, along with top government leaders from the major political parties.

The panel is called the new Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. It was organized by people who launched a group by the same name about 16 years ago. That first commission made a series of recommendations, several of which were enacted.

The new group wants to end high school in 10th grade for many students -- a point at which students would be able to take exams and go to a community college or, in some cases, stay in school and study for more advanced exams that could earn them a place at a four-year college. Somewhat similar systems are in place in other countries.

Some members of the new commission are former Education secretaries Rod Paige and Richard Riley; former Labor Secretary Ray Marshall; former U.S. trade representative and member of Congress Bill Brock; former Michigan Gov. John Engler; and Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City schools.
highschool end at 10th grade


I think this would be a bad idea. You be having 14 and 15 years old going to college with people that are 18 years and older. That would feel a little awkward.
 

flyboy84

Golden Member
Jul 21, 2004
1,731
0
76
Most students are 16 by the end of 10th grade, not 14/15. The point of the program is that less academically focused students should be allowed to join the workforce/go to trade school/get 2 year degrees after 10th grade instead of wasting the resources used to put them through 11th and 12th grade. Those that are "college material" would stay in school and take AP classes, etc in 11th and 12th grade to prepare them for higher education. Too many people are going to college these days "just because." It is probably one of the major factors that has contributed to America's lack of skilled tradespeople.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,339
4,044
126
You be so right. Can't have the future of the nation rest on some hair brained idea that makes you be awkward feeling.
 

newmachineoverlord

Senior member
Jan 22, 2006
484
0
0
"or, in some cases, stay in school and study for more advanced exams that could earn them a place at a four-year college."
What they want is a two-tiered graduation system for high school, like an AB v. a BS degree. This way the people who don't want to go to college and would have dropped out after they turned sixteen anyways can still say they "graduated" but with a less prestigious version high school diploma. Thus the whole point of this system is to make the high school dropout problem look better by calling it a graduation instead of dropping out.

Another problem addressed here is high schools already are two tiered with kids who take honors classes and calculus and kids who take the easiest classes possible to reach the graduation requirements. Two separate sets of degree requirements would allow employers to distinguish between these groups. There is also the fact that national and state education standards can mostly be met in two years by a good student because they're designed to be achievable by average lazy students. Thus the last two years of high school are for taking more AP classes and college admissions requirements, not for meeting HS requirements. Thus setting graduation standards lower is a way of privatizing education and attacking funding for public education.

The OP didn't quote the most important paragraph: " The report states that by not spending today's resources on 11th- and 12th-graders and by making other reforms, the government could save an estimated $60 billion that could be spent on improvements to the nation's school system." Thus the driving motivation behind this recommendation is to cut public HS funding by $60 billion while lowering the overall quality of HS education for people who can't afford private school. I'm not contending that it wouldn't be a good idea to spend $60 billion on improving the nation's school system, but I believe that money should be raised through cuts in other areas besides education. For example that amount of money could be saved by not wasting it on drug enforcement and keeping people in jail for victimless drug possession charges.
 

Fox5

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2005
5,957
7
81
Alternative solution:
Make the high school (and below) education program better so that more kids can graduate and become scientists, rather than minimum wage laborers. Children are fundamentally a blank slate, if the majority of them cannot be made interested in higher learning, then it's the education system that is failing to do a proper job and instead leaving it up to the parents, who were never trained for such a job. Leave the moral training at home, and leave the education at school.
 

theMan

Diamond Member
Mar 17, 2005
4,386
0
0
Wait, what would happen after they left high school? I don't understand?

But, anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the current state of our schools.

The main problem I see is that everything now is just tailored to those standardized tests. That is the only reason anyone teaches anything, or learns anything. When a school achieves its "good" score, it has no reason to actually think about educating its students. We need to have some sort of system for actually personally determining the quality of the teaching, because these test scores cannot possibly reflect the quality of teaching. All they do is just allow schools to sit and do nothing, or force "underperforming" schools to have to catch up in ways that only lead them to do better on the test, while not actually improving the quality of the teaching.

Also, another huge problem, and I really do have to say this, is that there is just too much emphasis on sports and other extra curricular activities in todays schools. Many high schools have 15 or so sports, and almost every kid plays. And, its become such a big deal with corporate contracts, and the fact that adults, just people that have nothing to do with the school, follow high schools sports as if it were professional. Local news broadcasts have segments on the high school sports of the day every day. And, what does this ultimately do? It allows kids to make the excuse that poor academic performance is completely okay. If you play sports, you will be more highly respected, be well liked, but end up leaving high school with almost no accumulation of academic knowledge.

And, where is this sort of thing for kids who actually are interested in academics? Do local news stations ever have a segment every night about a kid who just got a good grade on a math test, or who spent his day after school writing a good paper? No. There is absolutely no incentive or any reason for any kid to be interested in learning, And, it is all at the fault of the school, and, the fact that they only need to get that certain grade on the standardized test. And, it would not be an easy change. We would need a large cultural change to a people who value education, and who respect people because of their intellectual ideas. And, that is the main reason why the U.S. is falling behind many other countries, where the children see their only way of advancing their country and society is by advancing their own self knowledge.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
Originally posted by: theman
Also, another huge problem, and I really do have to say this, is that there is just too much emphasis on sports and other extra curricular activities in todays schools. Many high schools have 15 or so sports, and almost every kid plays. And, its become such a big deal with corporate contracts, and the fact that adults, just people that have nothing to do with the school, follow high schools sports as if it were professional.
No kidding. I recall one time, my high school's football team was going to some big game, and an announcement interrupted class, and had all students go line the main hall to clap and cheer the team as they walked to the bus to get to the game. Or our assemblies that were "pep rallies" for various useless purposes.

Why are adults so interested in their kid's performance in sports? I attribute it to selfishness - if the kid does good, he can get a multi-million dollar contract and give lots of it to the parents, thus letting them be set for life.

And, where is this sort of thing for kids who actually are interested in academics? Do local news stations ever have a segment every night about a kid who just got a good grade on a math test, or who spent his day after school writing a good paper? No. There is absolutely no incentive or any reason for any kid to be interested in learning, And, it is all at the fault of the school, and, the fact that they only need to get that certain grade on the standardized test.
Agreed. And being smart is often portrayed as a negative thing, starting as early as kids shows. Smart people are portrayed as a bit weird. Jimmy Neutron - weird kid who's really smart. Kim Possible - OMG, homework is like so not cool and stuff. And doing well on tests is good wink winnk, but just don't let anyone else know about it - social stigma! Kids, is it really worth it to do well in school when your social status is at stake? It's your own choice, but remember, fitting in is the absolute most important thing in the world. Choose carefully.
 

imported_Lothar

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2006
4,559
1
0
Wow...that would mean I would have started college at 14 :shocked:

I agree with their assessment that teacher pension plans be scrapped for other benefits such as higher pay.
 

WHAMPOM

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2006
7,628
181
106
Originally posted by: newmachineoverlord
"or, in some cases, stay in school and study for more advanced exams that could earn them a place at a four-year college."
What they want is a two-tiered graduation system for high school, like an AB v. a BS degree. This way the people who don't want to go to college and would have dropped out after they turned sixteen anyways can still say they "graduated" but with a less prestigious version high school diploma. Thus the whole point of this system is to make the high school dropout problem look better by calling it a graduation instead of dropping out.

Another problem addressed here is high schools already are two tiered with kids who take honors classes and calculus and kids who take the easiest classes possible to reach the graduation requirements. Two separate sets of degree requirements would allow employers to distinguish between these groups. There is also the fact that national and state education standards can mostly be met in two years by a good student because they're designed to be achievable by average lazy students. Thus the last two years of high school are for taking more AP classes and college admissions requirements, not for meeting HS requirements. Thus setting graduation standards lower is a way of privatizing education and attacking funding for public education.

The OP didn't quote the most important paragraph: " The report states that by not spending today's resources on 11th- and 12th-graders and by making other reforms, the government could save an estimated $60 billion that could be spent on improvements to the nation's school system." Thus the driving motivation behind this recommendation is to cut public HS funding by $60 billion while lowering the overall quality of HS education for people who can't afford private school. I'm not contending that it wouldn't be a good idea to spend $60 billion on improving the nation's school system, but I believe that money should be raised through cuts in other areas besides education. For example that amount of money could be saved by not wasting it on drug enforcement and keeping people in jail for victimless drug possession charges.
Use the Texas system, count the dropouts as transfers to another school. Don't ask why the school had a class of sixty freshmen and don't tell why only forty seniors graduate.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,380
3,503
126
This isn't a bad idea IMO. It just needs a little tweaking to be a good solution. Extend Student Loans programs(if they are not already, I dunno) to Technical Schools and increase seats in Technical Schools. There are many decent Paying Jobs in Construction, Semi-Truck Driving, and other tasks that don't require extensive Education. Also make it possible for Students who opt for the lower Grad status to Upgrade later if they so desire.

There might be other alternatives worth looking into though. One such alternative is Sex Segragation. A Public School here in BC, Canada experimented in this recently. They tried it with just one Grade(7) within their School and had remarkable results. They simply had all the Males attend 1 Class, Females another, but the School itself was stil Integrated. Both the Males and Females scores improved dramatically, especially in Classes the 2 usually did very poorly in(Math for Girls, don't recall Subject(s) for boys). Even the Students themselves were enthused with the results. Everyone noted how comfortable the Students were within Class and the amount of Youthful shenaniganry dropped significantly.
 

Jadow

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2003
5,962
2
0
Alternative solution:
Make the high school (and below) education program better so that more kids can graduate and become scientists, rather than minimum wage laborers. Children are fundamentally a blank slate, if the majority of them cannot be made interested in higher learning, then it's the education system that is failing to do a proper job and instead leaving it up to the parents, who were never trained for such a job. Leave the moral training at home, and leave the education at school.


you are so full of it. The truly talented kids who become scientists are going to become scientists. Kids aren't a blank slate when it comes to intellegence, skills, aptitude, etc... They are very unevenly divided. There are stupid kids, medocre kids, smart kids, etc.. Having a good school system isn't going to equalize these kids. I have a big problem with how our current high school system is so strongly geared towards college prep, when in fact, only 25% of HS grads also get a 4 year degree or higher. It is a total waste to require 3 years of english, calc class, chemistry, etc...

They should have a 2 track system where 1 track preps for college, and the other track preps for the real world. The college track would be similar to how our current system works, the alternate track woudl have classes in personal finance, (ie why you don't want to get 50k in credit card debt), trade skills, a basic business class, etc... Basically what you need to know to make it in the world.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,655
3,134
126
Originally posted by: Lothar
Wow...that would mean I would have started college at 14 :shocked:

I agree with their assessment that teacher pension plans be scrapped for other benefits such as higher pay.
There is always one in the crowd..lol
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Education in the US definitely needs major reform. I think a system with different tracks is a great idea. There is definitely a need for a foundation of learning with focus on a broad variety of subjects, but that doesn't require 12 years. The current system is set up purely to act as a babysitter until the "child" legally becomes an adult at which point they're thrown out on their own. There's no reason that what is currently taught in 12 years couldn't be taught in 10 (or less) with the final years being split into tracks based on aptitude and desire.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
So the best way to compete in the global economy is to make sure a large number of kids get LESS education and more preparation for jobs at Burger King? This must be one of those things that sounds good until you listen to yourself talking, because I can't imagine that someone has really thought about this and decided it was a good idea.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,380
3,503
126
Originally posted by: Rainsford
So the best way to compete in the global economy is to make sure a large number of kids get LESS education and more preparation for job at Wendy? This must be one of those things that sounds good until you listen to yourself talking, because I can't imagine that someone has really thought about this and decided it was a good idea.
fixed
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
Originally posted by: Jadow
Alternative solution:
Make the high school (and below) education program better so that more kids can graduate and become scientists, rather than minimum wage laborers. Children are fundamentally a blank slate, if the majority of them cannot be made interested in higher learning, then it's the education system that is failing to do a proper job and instead leaving it up to the parents, who were never trained for such a job. Leave the moral training at home, and leave the education at school.


you are so full of it. The truly talented kids who become scientists are going to become scientists. Kids aren't a blank slate when it comes to intellegence, skills, aptitude, etc... They are very unevenly divided. There are stupid kids, medocre kids, smart kids, etc.. Having a good school system isn't going to equalize these kids. I have a big problem with how our current high school system is so strongly geared towards college prep, when in fact, only 25% of HS grads also get a 4 year degree or higher. It is a total waste to require 3 years of english, calc class, chemistry, etc...

They should have a 2 track system where 1 track preps for college, and the other track preps for the real world. The college track would be similar to how our current system works, the alternate track woudl have classes in personal finance, (ie why you don't want to get 50k in credit card debt), trade skills, a basic business class, etc... Basically what you need to know to make it in the world.
That's silly. Yeah, it's true that some people are more talented in certain areas than others (no amount of weight training will turn some 100 lbs nerd into a linebacker, and no amount of schooling will turn a dumb linebacker into a science prodigy), but if all our scientists have to be "truly talented", we're going to be running a little short on scientists. Einstein reportedly did poorly in school, and although that is untrue, it would make sense...as the Einsteins of the world are destined for that even with mediocre schooling. And more schooling, no matter how much, is going to turn someone into an Einstein if they weren't already.

But we don't all need to be Einsteins, the world needs LOTS of "merely" competent engineers, scientists and professionals...they might not have as much of a flashy impact as the geniuses, but they are just as vital. And while school can't turn an idiot into a genius, it CAN help turn a future burger flipper into a future midlevel manager. Schooling can't erase the differences in skill levels, but it can raise EVERYONE up, the smart kids get smarter, but the less smart kids get smarter as well.
 

miketheidiot

Lifer
Sep 3, 2004
11,062
1
0
Originally posted by: Jadow
Alternative solution:
Make the high school (and below) education program better so that more kids can graduate and become scientists, rather than minimum wage laborers. Children are fundamentally a blank slate, if the majority of them cannot be made interested in higher learning, then it's the education system that is failing to do a proper job and instead leaving it up to the parents, who were never trained for such a job. Leave the moral training at home, and leave the education at school.


you are so full of it. The truly talented kids who become scientists are going to become scientists. Kids aren't a blank slate when it comes to intellegence, skills, aptitude, etc... They are very unevenly divided. There are stupid kids, medocre kids, smart kids, etc.. Having a good school system isn't going to equalize these kids. I have a big problem with how our current high school system is so strongly geared towards college prep, when in fact, only 25% of HS grads also get a 4 year degree or higher. It is a total waste to require 3 years of english, calc class, chemistry, etc...

They should have a 2 track system where 1 track preps for college, and the other track preps for the real world. The college track would be similar to how our current system works, the alternate track woudl have classes in personal finance, (ie why you don't want to get 50k in credit card debt), trade skills, a basic business class, etc... Basically what you need to know to make it in the world.
much of the problem comes from motivation, I've known several VERY intelligent people fail to finish highschool because they just don't care. Personally i think they need to make it impossible to drop out before you are 18 and require more and more difficult classes, and drop-outs need to be humiliated publicly.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
1
61
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
You be so right. Can't have the future of the nation rest on some hair brained idea that makes you be awkward feeling.
:laugh:
 

sonoma1993

Diamond Member
May 31, 2004
3,405
19
81
Originally posted by: miketheidiot
Originally posted by: Jadow
Alternative solution:
Make the high school (and below) education program better so that more kids can graduate and become scientists, rather than minimum wage laborers. Children are fundamentally a blank slate, if the majority of them cannot be made interested in higher learning, then it's the education system that is failing to do a proper job and instead leaving it up to the parents, who were never trained for such a job. Leave the moral training at home, and leave the education at school.


you are so full of it. The truly talented kids who become scientists are going to become scientists. Kids aren't a blank slate when it comes to intellegence, skills, aptitude, etc... They are very unevenly divided. There are stupid kids, medocre kids, smart kids, etc.. Having a good school system isn't going to equalize these kids. I have a big problem with how our current high school system is so strongly geared towards college prep, when in fact, only 25% of HS grads also get a 4 year degree or higher. It is a total waste to require 3 years of english, calc class, chemistry, etc...

They should have a 2 track system where 1 track preps for college, and the other track preps for the real world. The college track would be similar to how our current system works, the alternate track woudl have classes in personal finance, (ie why you don't want to get 50k in credit card debt), trade skills, a basic business class, etc... Basically what you need to know to make it in the world.
much of the problem comes from motivation, I've known several VERY intelligent people fail to finish highschool because they just don't care. Personally i think they need to make it impossible to drop out before you are 18 and require more and more difficult classes, and drop-outs need to be humiliated publicly.
I graduated in 02, I think like 3 or 4 people from my graduating class drop out in our senior year.
 

miketheidiot

Lifer
Sep 3, 2004
11,062
1
0
Originally posted by: sonoma1993
Originally posted by: miketheidiot
Originally posted by: Jadow
Alternative solution:
Make the high school (and below) education program better so that more kids can graduate and become scientists, rather than minimum wage laborers. Children are fundamentally a blank slate, if the majority of them cannot be made interested in higher learning, then it's the education system that is failing to do a proper job and instead leaving it up to the parents, who were never trained for such a job. Leave the moral training at home, and leave the education at school.


you are so full of it. The truly talented kids who become scientists are going to become scientists. Kids aren't a blank slate when it comes to intellegence, skills, aptitude, etc... They are very unevenly divided. There are stupid kids, medocre kids, smart kids, etc.. Having a good school system isn't going to equalize these kids. I have a big problem with how our current high school system is so strongly geared towards college prep, when in fact, only 25% of HS grads also get a 4 year degree or higher. It is a total waste to require 3 years of english, calc class, chemistry, etc...

They should have a 2 track system where 1 track preps for college, and the other track preps for the real world. The college track would be similar to how our current system works, the alternate track woudl have classes in personal finance, (ie why you don't want to get 50k in credit card debt), trade skills, a basic business class, etc... Basically what you need to know to make it in the world.
much of the problem comes from motivation, I've known several VERY intelligent people fail to finish highschool because they just don't care. Personally i think they need to make it impossible to drop out before you are 18 and require more and more difficult classes, and drop-outs need to be humiliated publicly.
I graduated in 02, I think like 3 or 4 people from my graduating class drop out in our senior year.
we had a girl drop out with 3 weeks left


everyone was like "wtf"
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
1
61
Usually the first two years of college are nothing but a repeat of high school. But I guess cutting college down to 2 years doesn't cut as much federal and state costs as much as cutting high school in half would.
 

Isla

Elite member
Sep 12, 2000
7,749
2
0
I find this all very interesting.

By 10th grade, either you are intellectually potential college material or you aren't.... but many students are not mature enough for college until they are over 18. I can see tracking the students to save money, but are Americans ready to cut short childhood by a couple of years?

It is already happening here.... eighth graders have to declare a major in January so that they can get tracked in high school.... they are doing away with block scheduling so that students can try more electives (and won't be able to graduate early as easily)... great for the average students but a bummer for the high achievers who want to get to college ASAP.

On a personal note, I was a very rebellious student who made A's on exams but failed lots of classes due to unexcused tardies. 15 unexcused tardies equalled 5 unexcused absences and automatic failure of the class. I was frequently tardy because my high school was critically overcrowded and I didn't like being groped in the squeeze of bodies travelling through the hallways. We literally had to squish by each other at certain intersections. So I waited until the crowds passed and got counted tardy. I dropped out after 11th grade as a form of protest, and then tested into honors courses in state college. :D

If I had been able to put up with the bs, maybe I would have been able to get scholarships to more 'prestigious' colleges, or maybe I could have become a veterinarian (my childhood dream) but I was impacted by an overburdened system that couldn't see me as an individual with a valid issue. I hadn't matured to the point where I could cope with the fact they couldn't care less whether or not I didn't like getting my T and A anonymously fondled in the hallways. I think that is the most dangerous potential here.... students will have less time to develop/mature as individuals and may have to make life choices prematurely.
 

imported_Shivetya

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2005
2,978
1
0
interesting idea. Still it won't float in today's PC world, let alone an education system controlled not by teachers and parents but instead by adminstrators and the teachers union.

Education has gotten worse simply because there are too many mandates requiring systems to bring all students along for the ride regardless of abilitiy. Money is drained in increasingly large amounts comply the ADA and similar well meaning but over lawyered acts.

Pay teachers more is every reports solution because it sounds good and no one in their right mind would dare counter it. Its like putting "its for the children" tag on your legislation.

How would you decide who goes on to college or tech school? Simple student choice? Anything else requires defininng qualifications and that invites lost of infighting and "PC" choices which will dillute the goals of the process.

 

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