Jun 30, 2005

"Reinventing the Route to D.C. Diploma" [LINK]

A letter to the Washington Post identifies one more goal post that needs moving:

The District is taking a significant step in the right direction by offering the option of a fifth year of high school ["Reinventing the Route to D.C. Diploma," Metro, June 20].

We rarely notice if a student takes a year or two longer than usual to complete a graduate degree because of personal obligations. Also, it is now acceptable for students to take more than four years to complete college: According to a recent UCLA study, only 36 percent of students in college in the 1990s finished in four years, compared with 40 percent in the 1980s and 47 percent in the late 1960s.

The expectation that students will finish high school in four years, however, has remained, for no reason other than tradition. Many students, including recent immigrants who are learning English, can profit from more time, and many need more time because of work obligations. We need to facilitate schooling for those who lack the advantages and commend them for their perseverance.

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