Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade?

Follow this link to an article about getting students ready for college at the age of sixteen. I am ambivalent about it. I am convinced that we need to do something radically different to prepare our young adults for life after public ed. Is this the answer? Let’s start a discussion here. Leave a comment!

24 thoughts on “Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade?

  1. Very interesting article. Thanks for posting.

    The idea itself really is not all that radical when you think about it. I think the purpose is to give kids who hate school and want to work, the chance to have a level of high school and be able to get training in another field. Some courses at our provincial tech. college allows entrance into some certificate programs with a grade 10 already.

    I do wonder if it may be a little early though. Depending on the age a child starts school, many could only be 15 years old in grade 10. Maybe Grade 11 would be better? Kids tend to be a little more focused on possible career choices at this grade and all would be 16 years of age.

    Critics who say it could create a polarized society could be correct. But we already have that in some ways. Not every student is cut out for university. Trades are in high demand and wages are good. Actually, many students are not cut out for trades either.

    I guess the proposed system in the article allows for student/parent choice. I think I have heard that somewhere before!

    We also would need to do some preparatory work leading up to age 16. In Saskatchewan, we are now changing the senior level math so students can choose an arts/trades/university focus.

    I think I see some parallels.

    http://birchbark.wordpress.com

  2. When I saw your topic, I had to laugh, because I had just posted a long response on a discussion board about the same thing.

    However, I am coming from a different angle. My concern is always for the NON-college bound students and what we are doing to prepare them for the real world.

    I definitely think those students should be in a program like SVE, but the program needs to be for ALL students, just not students with IEPs.

    And yes, I think they should be allowed to leave high school whenever they can demonstrate competency with basic skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

    The test of that set of competencies would be different than the competencies needed for students entering college. It shouldn’t be the GED, because the GED tests knowledge of the current high school curriculum, not needed competencies.

    Our “one size fits all” approach to education just doesn’t work.

  3. Before I provide an informed opinion on whether students should move on after 10th grade, I would have to be convinced that these exit exams are indeed able to evaluate whether students have the approriate skills to exit high school and enter a community college. I do worry that most of our 15 and 16 year olds lack the necessary social skills to adjust to the college lifestyle. Many of our current 18 year olds have demonstrated an inability to adjust to college life and often make poor choices such as binge drinking, skipping classes, etc. Perhaps as a society we are so frustrated by our educational institutions’ inability to adequately prepare our children for an uncertain future that any novel idea is embraced as a solution. If such a concept is to be effective shouldn’t our state and national governments change current laws that restrict teenagers’ rights and responsibilities such as entering contracts, being able to work on industrial sites under the current age of 18, etc.

  4. I really enjoyed reading the article. I think that the idea of graduating in the tenth grade could be potentially helpful to those students that don’t want to go through four years of high school. This alternative method could give them the high school degree that has become a necessity in today’s world. I have to agree with Mr. V that some students are not mature enough to handle college at the age of 18 let alone at the age of 16. I do see potential in the program, but I believe it needs to be developed a bit further.

  5. Are kids ready to go on to college at 16? I do not think so! Some kids are not even ready at 18. At 16, students are still learning responsibility. They are just learning to drive and getting jobs. They are not ready to leave home yet to go to college. They should not be let loose on the world just yet. College is for adults. An adult is a fully mature person that can take care of themselves. A lot of 16 year olds are not quite there yet nor are some 18 year olds. With students graduating at sophomore year, this would not help the U.S. go up in the ranks of the workforce. This is because the workers will be from low-income families and have less education than others. With cutting high school short, many worry that this would worsen the existing socioeconomic gaps.

    So it sounds like a good idea, but students are not ready. This needs much more development.

    Chelsea Sablotny

  6. I think this is a good Idea, but needs to be thought out a lot more before it goes into effect. If the student were able to pass this test it would show that they are intelligent enough to go into college, but sometimes that’s all that it would show. The lifestyle of a college student and a high school student are completely different. Most high school students aren’t going to be able to adjust quickly to a college life style. I think it’s a good idea, but the change in lifestyle needs to be thought about and dealt with.

  7. Kayla Sweet

    I think that this article is very intersting and is something that many individuals would benefit from. I think that by the age of 16 many students are starting to figure out what they want to do with their lives and many are very capable of going to college to persue their degrees early. As a junior in high school I took 4 college level courses and performed very well in them. If we are going to be able to take college classes in high school why not let students start college early?

  8. I soley believe having a student leave high school after the tenth grade is not the wise thing to let happen. Students the 15-16 years old do not have enough responsibility to attend a school of higher learning let alone getting and keeping a good job. There are to many students who expect things given to them instead of working to earn them, like grades. To many of our stduents think they should have A’s and B’s with out putting forth any effort.
    There are to many students who want to sleep in class, not turn in work,and some do not want to work because they think its to hard.
    So, how do we get students to saty awake, hand their work and be more responsible for themselves?
    How do we get them to get to work on time, do their job right, and be fincially responsible?
    I believe these need to be address before any student can leave high school as tenth grader.

  9. I liked the article, and I thought it was interesting but I don’t think kids are mature enough to advance to the college level as a sophomore. You are just learning to drive and our high school offers college courses and I think we’re doing just fine. We are in a comfortable environment and we know almost everyone. I just think 16 is too young…

  10. Le Ann Spesard
    I think this could be very helpful to some student but who is going to decide this big decision and if you have to take a test to graduate early how many students are going to follow through. Some students don’t even like taking a test in class little lone taking one to determine whether or not they get to graduate real early. I like at our school the whole idea about graduating at mid-term. I think this has helped some students in the past because they get a head start on a military career or get a job to save for college. I think the big deal about this whole idea is the testing part. If they do not pass their test who is going to allow them to graduated early and can they graduate early?

  11. I don’t think it would be a very good idea to do this. I mean, i wouldn’t have a problem when I turn 16. Most 16 year olds aren’t mature enough to got o college yet and be on there own. Even if you are smart enough, it doesn’t mean that you are mature enough or expierenced enough to go to college. I’m not even sure what profession I want to do yet. I have an idea what i want to do, but in college you need to have a good idea to know what classes to take. I’m sure this wouldn’t happen, but you never know.
    Brent Mulvihill
    7th hour

  12. I think this was an overall good article, the idea of students able to graduate from high school two years early is excellent. Although, I don’t think that many students are mature enough to proceed on to the college level. I believe this, because there are too many naive 16 year olds that would have no clue what to expect from college. I also believe that there are naive 18 year olds, who don’t know what to expect from college and that are not educationally prepared for the college level.

  13. Allie McCrocklin
    This article was very interesting and makes you stop and think. Do you really think a 16 year old could serisouly be ready for the real world and college? I mean lets think about this, most students at the age of 16 still have their parents wake them up in the mornings and take them to school. That is just two of the many things that come to mind. I don’t think that a 16 year old can even come close to be ready to go to college. Being a sophomore, you haven’t even taken government, and as much as I hate to say this, I learned a lot in that class. You learn all the laws and what they actually mean. I think if they were to even consider letting sophomores go to college, they need to take more “real world” classes, to get them more prepared!

  14. I think that this is a good idea, but I’m not sure about the maturity level of sixteen year olds, let alone some eighteen year olds. Maybe instead of actually attending college, more college classes should be available? Maybe for juniors and seniors there could be a different section of the high school that could have the rooms that the college bound students are in. I know that we have a lot of college classes now, but I’m just throwing it out there. And also I’m not quite sure of how much the cost of having this kind of part of the building could be. My only problem with this article is that I can’t just choose one side and I feel like I need to know more on this topic.

  15. Letting sophomores graduate high school early and attend college could be very beneficial for some of them. But I dont think that they are mature enough. I will be 18 when I go to college and I dont think that I’m even mature enough. For the students that are college bound and that pass that test should be able to take dual credit courses just like the juniors and seniors. Like Kiera said, I would have to know more about this topic to really pick a side.

  16. I really don’t think this is a good idea. This is just another way to let the ‘bad kids’ fall through the cracks. What are the kids who don’t go off to college going to do at the age of 15 or 16? They aren’t old enough to take care of themselves! We’ll just have more ‘Hardees Kids’ out there, so spend their whole day doing nothing and wasteing time because they are eathier to lazy to go out and get a job, or they can’t find one because all the older more experienced peopl are getting the jobs. I just don’t like this, and I think it will be a waste of time and money.

  17. This article was very interesting to me. While I could see how some students would benefit from being able to graduate at the age of 16, students are not emotionally ready to graduate and continue on with their lives at such a young age. Students at the age of 16 are thinking about getting their licenses and now college is being thrown at them. They will not know what to do with themselves. Being able to continue the last two years of high school allows students to mature into young adults. By the time they are seniors, students will be able to deal with all the pressures and stress of leaving the world they know and entering a world where they are no longer “babied”.

  18. I personally have to disagree with this article. I feel that sixteen year old students are in no way ready to go to college. There are already arguments about whether they are ready to drive a vehicle let alone live on their own. Personally, i know that i am a completely different person than i was in tenth grade. I have matured so much and i know now looking back on it that if i lived alone my tenth grade year, i would have never been able to make it. It is an interesting idea, but i feel if it is to take effect, then teachers need to prepare students not only academically, but with life skills as well.

  19. The idea is good, but it can’t begin in high school. This program would have to begin from kindergarten. No unsuspecting eighth grader should be expected to be ready for college in just two years the second they get into high school. Then when there would be some, if any, that pass to exam, how would it make those others feel? Ever since President Bush’s “No child left behind” idea, schools have become more of, which one has the higher test scores. Evidence is on this year’s seniors, the pressure that was put on us because of last year’s seniors’ poor score. Most sixteen year olds don’t even think about college. They are more worried about friends and sports. The program should not be based in high schools if it ever wants to be a success. They need to start in kindergarten, where the mind is better suited to learn a foreign language or be told that “It is important to go to college.”

  20. This article has made me think quite a bit on what it would be like to have graduated two years ago and already be in college. I feel that I am not ready to go to college now, let alone when I was 16 years old. I believe I could have lived alone, but I would have obviously needed help from my parents financially. When it comes to academics, I feel that the classes freshmen and sophomores have to take would never prepare a student at age 16 to go to college. They are the basic high school classes that kids just basically get through and then they worry about the classes they take their junior and senior year. I also know that socially I would have never been able to make it in the college world. College students live so much differently than high school students, let alone a sophomore in high school.

  21. I found this article a little surprising because by the end of my sophomore year I had not even begun taking the classes I wanted to take. I do not see how 16 year old students think they are ready to enter into the college life. I am not even ready for college at the age of 18. Another thing I am concerned with is – what will the test cover? Math, English, science and reading? Well how about we call this the ACT? All in all, if the test does follow through I think it will only create more problems for our society.

  22. It was a very interesting article because I had never heard of schools wanting to do this before. However, I don’t think it is a very good idea. I don’t believe the students would be prepared enough to go to college at that early of an age. It would be exciting to see what would happen if this passes though.

  23. I don’t think that most sixteen year olds are matured enough for the college environment. If we have to change the driving limit to eighteen because we can’t trust sexteen year olds to drive, then how are we supposed to trust them to stay out of trouble in college. The average graduating age for a high school grad is eighteen, and the average graduating age for a college grad (attending a four-year college) is twenty-two. If we were to send sixteen year olds off to a four year college, they wouldn’t even be the legal drinking age before they graduated. I think this could cause teenagers to have to grow up to quickly. We should be able to enjoy of high school years.

  24. I think that changing the year you are able to graduate by passing an exam is a horrible idea. When students enter into college they have been through many situations that a sophomore hasn’t. Also a 10th graders is legally still their parents so what happens when they move away for college and they get into major trouble for something that happened on college campus? Are their parents punished or are they? Also a 10th grader just got their lisense or haven’t gotten them yet. How are they going to get from college to home or anything like that? Also before they can even think about leaving high school they have to pass this exam. But how do you decide what an exam that passes you into college consist of? You wouldn’t be able to include some information because they have never discussed it before. And they would also have to include not only acedemic questions but also questions about things that occur in life, for example, peer pressure. I just feel that if there were a way for a 10th grader to skip out of high school they would be missing a lot of important things that should occur in every teenagers life.

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