Five Year High School? Is It a Good Idea

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The idea of extending high school for an additional year.

For most high school students, the idea of adding on an extra year is horrifying, but that is just what educators in the state of Maine intend to do. Their new plan is controversial and has people in the education world debating the merits of making it a new option for students.

Basically, the idea is to incorporate general college level subjects like English, Math and science courses in with the traditional high school level courses. This way, when students graduate, they will have a high school diploma and an associates degree, along with credits that will transfer along with them to college.

The plan would help students become more prepared for college or the workforce. For college bound students, they would be able to save money by already completing many of the freshman level subjects. But, is this a good idea for students?

Here is a look at both sides:

Getting the courses over with in high school - By providing this extra year option, students can save money by getting the classes out of the way before they leave high school. This would allow students who might not typically be college bound an extra year to get prepared and it would make college more affordable.

Keeping high school the same - On the other hand, these courses aren't really things that students should "get out of the way". They are an important part of the education process and many school districts might not have the money or the staff to teach these subjects effectively. Even though a public school education is provided "free" for students, in reality, it costs a lot to educate a student. As it is, many school districts are struggling just to support the course load they already have. If they had to teach college courses as well, it would make the quality of education across the board suffer.

There are programs like AP courses that already allow students who are excelling academically to earn college credit during high school. Also, most colleges offer CLEP tests that can be used to earn additional credits.

I can't help but wonder if making this sort of program mandatory would make high school education better or would it make college education worse?

What do you think? Have you heard about this idea? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for EducationJobsiteBlog and Nexxt. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.


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