Des Moines eyes 'fast-track' diploma

To graduate more students, Des Moines schools may offer a “fast-track” diploma, reports the Des Moines Register. Instead of the 23 credits now required, fast=trackers could earn a diploma with 18 credits. Yet they’d “meet all state and district requirements as well as the entrance criteria at Iowa’s three state universities,” according to Superintendent Nancy Sebring.

Many school districts have increased the number of credits required to graduate from high school, the Register notes. The extra credits typically are in arts, world culture, economics, foreign language and other electives. However, students who don’t have enough credits to graduate usually are lagging in core courses: They’re flunking English or math or history, not P.E. or music or “international foods” (meets Dubuque’s world culture requirement).

If “fast-track” graduates are eligible for college, why not lower the credit requirements for all students? Strong students might prefer to graduate early and work or travel  (or play music or cook international foods) before going to college.

About Joanne


  1. It does not take 12 years at $12,000 per pupil-year to teach a normal child to read and compute. “A year of Algebra I” makes as much sense as “a pound of friendship” or “a square meter of salinity”. That school districts measure education in years demonstrates that the government schools of the US are little more than employment programs for dues-paying members of the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel.

    How to reduce fraud? “I cut; you choose.” Let your legislature mandate that schools must hire parents on personal service contracts for, say, 2/3 of the regular-ed per-pupil budget, to provide for their own children’s education. Make payment contingent on performance at or above age-level expectations on standardized tests or Reading (any language) and Math. Allow students to take an exit exam (the GED will do) at any age and apply the taxpayers’ age6-18 education subsidy toward post-secondary tuition at any VA-approved post-secondary institution or toward a wage subsidy at any qualified (say, has filed W-2 forms on at least 3 adult employees for at least the previous four years) private-sector employer.

  2. Sorry Malcolm, but “A year of Algebra I” makes perfect sense within the context of the current system wherein the convenience and/or conceits of the professionals and elective officials are vastly more important then any considerations of education.

    I’m not sure about your “hiring parents to be parents” idea but it certainly would end the problem of indifferent parents with a crash.