February 17, 2010

Zombie idea: short-cut high schools

I guess I was wrong yesterday in labeling Utah State Senator Chris Buttars as obviously out of the mainstream in terms of practices. The New York Times reports today on something that slipped under my radar: two-year high school degree options based on an idiosyncratic constellation of what the article calls "board exams." Not too surprisingly, this is the brainchild of Marc Tucker, who's been peddling some type of policy proposal for changing the structure of high schools for more than twenty years as head of the National Center on Education and the Economy. I think this primarily shows that he's been more effective at lobbying than the higher-profile Partnership for 21st Century Skills, because it look like the various testing options essentially would require students to succeed at 12th-grade somewhat-more-intensive coursework, and my reasoning yesterday on three-year programs holds here (students likely to succeed at these tests are going to continue through four years). Given the original argument of NCEE for a much more vo-tech focus, I'm not sure what to make of this, except that it looks like it will have minimal impact on actual enrollments. 

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Posted in Education policy on February 17, 2010 10:33 AM | Submit