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The latest wave in PA education?



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Question:
I read an AP report in the local paper the other day that talked about a plan put forth, in part, by a teachers' union to add a year to public education, a 13th grade.

It's interesting that they they now want to mandate what, in many or most cases, will be legal adults to attend an additional year of public school.

Does anyone besides me see this as an erosion of rights? I hope it doesn't happen. If there is too much opposition, they'll probably add the year onto the front end with a mandatory kindergarten or pre-k.


Answer:
I heard that too, I think on NPR's All Things Considered. It was couched as a grade 8 1/2 and designed to teach the fundamentals needed for high school to the children who don't have them thanks' to "social promotion", less developed learning skills, and other sundry whatnot. I think there was something about "owing it to the children", apparently the ones who are victims of rising standards but have missed out on rising quality. Or something equally incredulous. Does PA have "readiness"? That's a purgatory between K and 1 for those children who make it out of K but aren't ready for 1.

I got the impression that this extra year would not be mandatory, kids ready for high school would go directly there. Apparently this means that age-related differences aren't an issue in high school, but the interview didn't explore that.

Personally, I think the schools should find kids who would be comfortable on a fast track and mature enough to get out of school in one year less than normal. I was a bit taken aback with a proposal to add a year. If you can complete shoool a year early, you can either treat it as an extra year's income (try compounding that for 50 years!) or an opportunity to work a year before college to get a better idea of what you like and what you need to learn.





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