Social Question

phoenyx's avatar

Should we make 12th grade optional?

Asked by phoenyx (7380points) February 15th, 2010

It’s a current proposal in the Utah Senate. You can read more about it here. It would, supposedly, save the state tens of millions of dollars.

Is senior year a waste of time for some people? Would it be better to allow some people to get a head start on other options, like learning a trade? What are you thought?

(FYI, the current graduation rate in Utah is 88%)

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20 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes absolutely. Senior year is a joke. But then again, our entire public education system is a joke.

tentaclepuppy's avatar

Education is never a waste of time.

At the same time, there are certainly schools in this country that don’t actually educate.

I think there is a small minority for whom skipping out of high school and moving straight on to college/trade school/something specific and worthwhile is a great idea.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

On the contrary… we should make 13th grade mandatory.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Seriously? If anything students need more school before we set them loose on the world.

gailcalled's avatar

See “Simon’s Rock,” a branch of Bard college that accepts bright and achieving students after 10th or 11th grade and sends them off with an AA or BA. It’s nearby and I have know students and been to fascinating exhibitions and lectures there.

“Established in 1966 and a unit of Bard College since 1979, Simon’s Rock is the nation’s only four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences that is designed to serve younger students. It was founded on the idea that many bright, highly motivated people are ready to undertake serious college work at the age of 15 or 16.

Most students enter Simon’s Rock after completing the 10th or 11th grade and pursue a program of study leading to the associate of arts degree in two years and the bachelor of arts degree in four. In 2001, Simon’s Rock’s 35 years of experience inspired and helped shape Bard High School Early College.”

Strauss's avatar

12th grade should not be optional. If Seniors have achieved their graduation requirements before twelfth grade, provide them with college-level courses through a local community college.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @NaturalMineralWater (yes, believe it)
cutting 12th grade won’t help in the long run – just more lower pegs of the system filled but education is already debatable in quality as is..we should keep the grade and improve on it.

J0E's avatar

I think slacking off for your last year isn’t a bad thing. For some people it’s the last time they will have to kick back and take it easy before real life starts. That being said, if it was optional people could still do that if they wanted. So it might be a good idea.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@J0E I don’t know if I’d call college real life and I don’t think any 17 year old knows enough to really ‘kick back’

nikipedia's avatar

It kind of already is. I took some extra classes and graduated after 11th grade.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I don’t know what the current rules 1970, I had completed all the requirements for high school graduation by age 14 but the state wouldn’t permit a high school diploma to be awarded before age 16, so I just left and went to college. I now have four degrees but no high school diploma.
There should definitely be an option to graduate, at whatever age, as soon as the academic requirements are met. For other students, the Canadian system of Grade 13, being equivalent to first year at university elsewhere, should be an option as it reduces college costs.

gailcalled's avatar

Some quality colleges and universities in the US have the option of skipping freshman year if the matriculating student has three 5’s on AP tests.

My son made up a semester (4 courses) at Wesleyan by taking a Dartmouth (3 courses) summer trimester and tacking on his HS AP English score. He was therefore able to graduate with his class, after having spent 6 months in Yosemite Valley, happily rock climbing and living in “Tent City.”

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Most of high school seems to be more or less optional, doesn’t it? That is, you can go, fail all you want to… and drop out when you’ve hit the permitted age requirement for that. And judging by many of the posts on the interwebs, it’s being done pretty frequently, too.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Who else would I be speaking for?

Jeruba's avatar

If you can leave school at age 16, how is it not optional already?

What we need is more ignorant people, right.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Jeruba That’s just what I was going to say. In California, schooling is only mandatory for age 15 and below. It is optional for 16 and above. When I was doing foster care, many of my kids passed their GED and left school at 16 and 17. You don’t even have to pass in order to quit, but it’s better to at least have passing scores.

SmartAZ's avatar

Here are a book and an essay to help you understand:
The Lost Tools of Learning
The Underground History Of Public Education

Another eye opening piece is “Dress For Success” by John Molloy. He has a lot of advice for students, and it has no resemblance to guidance you get from school counselors:
1. Vocal skill will affect your earning power more than any other single detail.
2. Acting skill will get you a job offer even if you are not qualified for the job.
3. The most important thing you get from your college years is your address book: professional contacts in your field.
4. The main difference between a successful man and a very successful man is the latter knows hundreds more people, and he knows them quite well.

Plan your schooling accordingly.

Strauss's avatar

The local school district here has a 5-year high school option that will enable any student to earn college credit during the four years of high school, and attend the local community college or technical college for an additional year through the high school. That way the student not only graduates high school, but leaves school with either an associates degree or a two-year technical certification, at no additional cost to the student!

SmartAZ's avatar

@Yetanotheruser that’s nice but If you leave it up to the school board, it still is not actually an education worth talking about. IMO a kid should skip high school entirely and take real classes at the local college or some place where he/she can be treated as a young adult instead of an old child.

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