A Utah legislator proposed eliminating 12th grade — “nothing but playing around” — to save $102 million a year. Now Republican State Sen. Chris Buttars has modified that to making the senior year optional for students who’ve completed enough credits.
“You’re spending a whole lot of money for a whole bunch of kids who aren’t getting anything out of that grade,” Buttars said. “It comes down to the best use of money.”
. . . “The kids either got one foot in AP classes in college, or they’re just running around taking P.E.,” Buttars said.
Utah teachers says most students need 12th grade to complete high school work and prepare for college. Those with extra credits already can collect a diploma early, though presumably Utah could offer college discounts for those who graduate early and save taxpayers money.
How many 12th graders are wasting their time — or enrolled in classes they could be taking at a local community college?
Update: Under a Gates-funded experiment, 10th graders who pass a series of exams could enroll immediately in community college. Those who fail can try again after 11th grade.
The new system of high school coursework with the accompanying board examinations is modeled largely on systems in high-performing nations including Denmark, England, Finland, France and Singapore.
The goal is to make it clear what students need to learn to succeed in college.