Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Radical education

The recommendations include ending high school for most students at age 16, after 10th grade. Students passing a state-run exam that meets national standards would move on to community colleges or job training. Others who pass would stay in high school for Advance Placement or International Baccalaureate work leading to admission to four-year colleges. Those who failed the test would return to high school until they passed. The money saved by lopping off the last two years of high school — $60 billion a year — would be used to double teacher salaries and fund pre-school for all 4-year-olds and all low-income 3-year-olds.

In order to attract teachers from the top third of college graduates, starting pay would average $45,000 a year — a level that is currently the mid-career national average — and then rise to $95,000, with possible increases up to $110,000 for teachers who work year-round or in demanding situations.

Radical, and sounds like it might be fun for all involved. However, I've read some literature that shows that sitting around in a high school waiting to drop out actually adds to your earning ability. I should do some digging around and write a mini-article comparing that data to this plan.

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