School superintendents gathered in Hartford this week to learn more about a program that would allow some 10th graders to graduate early, and immediately enter community college. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.
With nearly 1 in 4 American students unprepared for the rigor of college, The National Center on Education and the Economy says its time to look at what works in other places around the world. Finland, Australia, Denmark, England and Singapore use what’s called “a qualification system”. High school is divided into lower and upper divisions. 10th graders who pass an end-of-year exam, get a special diploma. That allows them to move on to higher ed, stay in high school for upper level classes or enter technical or vocational training. Students who fail have an educational program customized to their needs, and can retake the exam in 11th or 12th grade. NCEE President Marc Tucker:
"In those systems, it really doesn’t matter how long you’ve studied or how long you’ve been in a particular institution. What matters is whether you’ve reached the standard. That’s what a qualification is. It’s a piece of paper that says, I’m qualified to take the next step."
Connecticut is one of 8 states that hope to pilot a similar program here in the US. The curriculum would be internationally recognized. Students who pass the exams would be qualified to attend colleges and universities.. around the globe. The state's participation will depend on federal funding in the next round of Race to the Top education grants.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.