College starts in 11th grade

College will start in 11th grade at two Washington, D.C. high schools, reports the Washington Post. Two years after completing 12th grade, students will earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of the District of Columbia. That’s the plan, at any rate, for groups of students from Wilson High School and the School Without Walls. UDC’s four-year graduation rate is 8 percent.

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  1. Excellent idea – as long as standards are maintained. I’ve long argued – as have others – that the US needs to break from the illogical, rigid k-16 model. Senior year is a waste for many students, as are the first years of general eds in college. If kids can do the course work by the time they reach junior year, and they are emotionally ready for higher ed, there is no reason to waste their time and the taxpayers money on a senior year and arbitrary state and district mandated graduation credits. The country would benefit by lopping off one year of high school and two years of college for many students.

  2. Standards won’t be maintained, if it can be said that UDC has any meaningful standards. I’ve read some pretty appalling things about the standardized test scores of students in a variety of their departments. I’ve only known one UDC graduate, but she was drowning within the first few weeks of our first master’s class (not in education). It wasn’t just that she couldn’t handle the volume of assigned reading, which most of us thought was very reasonable; she simply could not read and understand the material. She dropped out before the end of the first semester, and she was taking only one class.

    There are certainly many kids who are or should be, ready for real college work before their junior HS year, but I question whether there are many of them in the DC public high schools.