One high school graduate may complete his or her graduation requirements in three years while another classmate may take five years to earn a diploma.
I find these snapshots confusing. I can understand a “snapshot” as being a point in time for a specific occurrence. For example, I can see as a snapshot that one high school student takes three years and another five to graduate. I see a student using technology to communicate with students on the other side of the world; a snapshot. A grandparent spends time as a volunteer is an excellent picture (snapshot). I see these as things that COULD happen. But, they are not things that happen, necessarily, for ALL students. What if my grandparents are all dead, or live in Oregon? What if I finish high school in four years? What if, today, I’m communicating through technology with my grandparents in Oregon, but not on the other side of the world? So, these comments, and several more, are obvious snapshots.
However, many of the snapshots seem to pertain to EVERYone. So, students access content experts, all students discover talents, students access ongoing relevant learning opportunities, and so forth; these seem to be much broader than a snapshot.
So, some snapshots appear to be just that, snapshots; other comments appear to be broadly applied statements. Without knowing which is which, connecting them back to the purpose as justified or not is difficult.
Extra time should be spent with children who need extra tutoring.
Until education realizes that we are not all the same, education will fail the majority of people. It is only the top 25% that graduates from a four year college program (please spare the PR hype that says something contrary; it is documented in too many ways). That isn’t because the schools or the country or the world has failed, it is because we don’t have the same intellectual ability, and we don’t all need a four year degree, nor should we be told that the only good jobs are those requiring a four year degree (or more). Until education realizes that there is a “normal distribution” of academic ability, we are doomed to idealistic educational dreams, and we leave most children behind. We should NOT all be required to “prepare for college” for our public education diploma; it is unnatural, unattainable, and unrealistic. Students know this, and drop out. Teachers know this and dumb-down. Colleges know this and weed out. We have no idea how to educate the 3rd and 4th quartiles, so we have counter-cultures and prisons filled with the disenfranchised. Furthermore, we water down the best minds with the false hopes and accomodations of the “included” majority. What education really is, is the 5% telling the 75% that they need to be the 25%, or else…how incredibly myopic and arrogant. The best of the world understood decades ago, started doing “something” about it, and have now surpassed us.
It is important that we realize today that students learn at different paces. The old agrarian system of school is getting outdated, but that does not mean we have to start over entirely as many suggest. Letting students graduate at different rates has its advantages, however students graduating too early also will be less mature to handle life outside of a structured environment. College is vastly different than high school, and the lack of parental and community/school oversight leads many students astray. 30% of college freshmen entering dropout (ASCD, 2011) due to lack of academic preparedness and ability to handle the realities of college.
What we need are more courses that better prepare students for the future, be that college, technical schools, or direct employment. Once students gain those 24 credits, meaningful classes that help them develop are important, instead of placing them in electives that serve only as fillers of time.
When education is truly customized time will become less of a hindrance to the educational process
I’m not sure, but some people may take summer classes for dual credit at local colleges such as York Tech. These students may want to graduate in three years since they are planning to go to college afterward. Other students may need more time to complete their degree. This might be accepted so that students who are having difficulty won’t give up after four years.
What are some of the reasons that some people take five years when others can get done in three?
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