New Hampshire plans to let students skip 11th and 12th grade and go straight to college, if they pass a new set of state exams in 10th grade. From Time:
Once implemented, the new battery of tests is expected to guarantee higher competency in core school subjects, lower dropout rates and free up millions of education dollars. Students may take the exams — which are modeled on existing AP or International Baccalaureate tests — as many times as they need to pass. Or those who want to go to a prestigious university may stay and finish the final two years, taking a second, more difficult set of exams senior year.
New Hampshire is following recommendations by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.
The state also is tracking students’ progress closely and plans to adopt “formalized curricula that specify exactly what kids should know by the end of each grade level.” In theory, students will get help as soon as they need it, instead of waiting till they’re years behind their classmates. With less class time devoted to remediation and review, students will be able to learn more by the end of 10th grade. In theory.
Some exam-passers will stay in high school, if only to play basketball or edit the yearbook or try out for the cheer squad. Others will feel ready to move on. If they do well in community college, they’ll be able to transfer to a good four-year university.