Utah Commissioner of Higher Ed Pushes One Size Fits All (Increase In HS Dropouts?)

The ever hated  Senator Buttars is proposing getting rid of 12th grade.  I agree.  It was a waste for most of us.  My senior year was made up of AP classes and a smattering of pointless ‘filler classes’.  My friends at the time were in similar situation – some just blew off the year with the filler classes others did as I had and a few took some college courses on top of their AP classes (I wish I had done this myself, in hindsight).

The article’s title says it all:   Higher education boss on Buttars’ idea: Don’t kill 12th grade, make it count.  The title acknowledges (as does the Commissioner) that 12th grade doesn’t really count for much.

So why not just let everyone gruaduate and get on with their lives?

No, no, says Commissioner of Higher Education William Sederburg.  His proposal (emphasis added):

“The critical need in Utah is to make a serious 12th grade with college preparatory classes,” Sederburg said. “There’s a lot of money that can be saved by doing it right. You could save money on all the remedial math and English classes.”

The problem is that not everyone wants to go to college.  Some will go off to trade schools etc and have absolutely no interest nor desire to take college prep courses.  Many will excel in their chosen professions without ever setting foot on a university campus.  Frankly, university isn’t for everyone and never should be (yeah, I can hear the gasps, but it is true).

If the Commissioner’s proposal was adopted at face value, I could see Utah’s drop out rate increase as students uninterested in the unnecessarily heavier (and harder) course load throw in the towel and, at best, opt for the GED.

If the commissioner is concerned about the funding for remedial college courses.  The solution isn’t forcing everyone to take unnecessary tax funded college prep courses in high school, but charge the full cost of the remedial course to the students or recognize other private remedial courses (if need be) – like private driving schools help people get their license without tax subsidies.

Apparently, the “one size fits all” educational approach remains paramount to individual educational choice.


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