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February 16th, 2010
08:38 AM ET

Should We Get Rid of Senior Year?

It’s the year high school students wait for – football games, senior prom, and graduating with friends. Utah Sen. Chris Buttars originally proposed to cut the twelfth grade entirely, but has since toned down the idea, suggesting that senior year be optional for students who complete their required credits early. The estimated move could save up to $60 million dollars.

So our question to you this morning is: Should we get rid of senior year? Why or why not?

Senator Buttars and Utah’s Commissioner of Higher Education join us at 10am ET on CNN Newsroom, plus we’ll read some of your responses later that hour.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Andrea

    Of course not. Senior year is the best year of your high school career, it's the year where you actually see all your hard work pay off. The excitement for graduation, senior portraits, senior prom, farewell, senior class trip and even "senior ditch day" and just seniority on your schools campus. As a senior you have the lower class men looking up to you wishing they were in your shoes. Senior year is the perfected end to the beginning of or life. After twelve years of dedication and hard work senior year is the best year because it shows how you progressed and changed!!

    February 16, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  2. Thom

    At least Utah will have a ready supply of fry cooks. I'm sure the fast food chains are eagerly awaiting this development.

    February 16, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  3. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    What it all boils down to is Sen. Buttars wants to make the 12th grade a special Ed. grade for those that dont have enough credits to graduate the 11th grade which in return would make an 11th grader smarter then a 12th grader maybe this idea would fall under the rule that if if it isnt broke then dont fix it .

    February 16, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  4. Jackie

    If your not going to attend college, then yes eliminate it.

    Please explain how having a year of senior portraits, senior prom, football games, doesn't stop one from being a fry cook at a fast food chain after graduation? Not everyone receiving a diploma is going to college.

    Question: How does having a high school diploma prepare students for the work force? And is high school relevant to the real world?

    February 16, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  5. Ken

    I think they should eliminate mandatory high school. If you can read, write, answer a phone, and operate a computer you can perform 90% of the jobs. College has become so expensive and corporations either outsource or hire cheap immigrant labor, legal and illegal so what is the point. It would certainly help reduce the high property taxes and college loan debt for families.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  6. Ray

    Anyone who complains about teachers needs to try it first. The ignorant experts are people who have opinions without actually being there. These are the worst decision makers. Go into the classroom and see for yourself.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  7. David D. (thenextprez2012)

    Isn't getting rid of Senior year just making junior year senior year?

    February 16, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  8. Levi

    If we were to get rid of senior year, who is to say students in junior year aren't going to get "senioritis". After all it will be their last year in school.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  9. Dan Marks

    To lower the waste of money, get rid of all public education.
    Why just senior year?

    February 16, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  10. Kris

    Just word it differently and it sounds better: reduce grade school by one year and then the 11th grade becomes your reign as Seniors. Kids are happy and money in the bank!

    February 16, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  11. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The 60 million will be gained by all the 12th grade teachers being laid off raising the unemployment level .

    February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  12. Dolores

    Kyra, I have actually done some studies on this topic and since there's no room here for all my thoughts, I have concluded that 12th grade should be a transition grade. Kids academically ready for college should go. Those not ready should work only on specific academic weakness areas so they'll BE ready for college and no one will need remediation. Those wanting vocational and technical postsecondary training, if academically ready, allow them to go just like the college students. Students preparing for military have specific options in 12th grade until they turn 18. That's the short version. Dr. Dolores Mize, Edmond, OK

    February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  13. Matt

    To save money? That's crap. I'm sure there are plenty of programs that could be cut before going after education.

    I wish safety and education weren't always the first targets when governments talk about cuts. They do that so people will be ok with increasing taxes. In MA you can get a free cell phone paid for by taxpayers, but schools and police are going to be cut back on unless taxes get raised.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  14. Richie Stein

    I'm a college freshman; and my senior year of high school is one thing I will never forget. Between prom, senior formals, our senior cruise, showing off our cars in the senior parking lot, and the senior pranks are all memories I will cherish. Eleventh grade is a time of extremely rigorous curriculum, not to mention the SAT's and ACT's. Senior year is a time to reflect on grade school and look to the future, all while enjoying the company of your closest friends. I don't think teenagers would want to end their high school career feeling burnt out, and not being able to share the memories that I was lucky enough to experience.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  15. Stacy DeSalvo

    I am a Career Coordinator and work directly with seniors at a high school in Maryland. It is the goal of our school to develop meaningful partnerships with the businesses in the surrounding community-examples are: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to National Cancer Institute to local law firms. Our vision is to have our seniors participate in a meaningful Internship in their senior year to make it worth their while. We stress to our seniors to take AP level courses and to participate in an internship. We feel the combination of these options prepare our students very well for the world of work and for college. If a school has a problem with seniors "checking out" in their last year, I feel it is the fault of not having a valid vision for their students. Businesses benefit greatly from participating in this program b/c the students are either future customers or potential employees who are very well trained. If the bar is set right, high school seniors will rise to the occasion b/c this program answers the age old question "WHY do I need to learn this?" Gaining work experience through a senior internship answers that question.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  16. Dan

    I graduated in 3 years so that I could go onto to further my education in a college atmosphere rather than wasting a whole year as a senior just taking blow-off classes & study halls like most of the seniors do.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  17. Richard0 C.

    I had one class left to graduate my senior year. Instead of taking that course in summer school I stayed for my senior year. It was just to important to finish with my classmates and enjoy all of the events for the last year.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  18. Sandi

    My son is an 11th grader this year. He isn't mature enough right now to think about college. I am hoping he matures enough to make adult decisions in his senior year.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  19. Tracy

    I don't think they should eliminate it. I have a child that is a senior. It would be like denying your child education and memories. Besides, this country is so far behind in education compared to China and Japan.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  20. Kim de Franza

    Cetainly not! There are a lot of productive initiatives that may be implemented to improve the quality of education and reduce wasteful spending in the area of education. I don't see eliminating the Senior Year as a viable option.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  21. Paul Boswell

    What we should have is an 8th grade diploma and make the grades 9-12 optional. Most of the jobs we create in this country are low skill, low wage (1-2x minimum wage) that any bright 8th grader can do. The second largest group of jobs we create are commissioned sales jobs, which can pay very well but also require little formal education. This is why the drop out rate is so high. Kids see no need to lose $15K or more per year in income for an education they don't really need. This would also save the taxpayers a lot of money. If we want an educated workforce, we better figure out how to create more jobs that pay in excess of $80K/year.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  22. Zak

    As a recent high school graduate, senior year has no importance, most students apply for college their junior year and know by the beginning of senior year where they were accepted. Senior year was full of unnecessary classes, double lunches, late arrival and early dismissal.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  23. Lori

    They could get rid of the senior year for students who have amassed at least 30 credits through CLEP, DANTES and AP testing. If they are going on to community college or university studies, they could be awarded their HS diploma after their first semester of college at whatever school they chose.
    For students who do not plan on going to college and for those who have not earned enough college level credits, they should be allowed to accelerate their studies through summer school.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  24. Christian - graduated at 16

    I did high school in 3 years. My thinking was just practical.

    High School is just a doorway into college, and college a doorway into the workplace, and the workplace, a doorway into the responsibility of being an adult.

    My friends and extracurricular activities were apart from the school system. I had music, church, neighborhood kids pick up basketball, none at taxpayer expense (besides music, this was school district wide).

    I went on to college and finished 2 majors in 3.5 years.

    My biggest hurdle were the school guidance counselors that wanted to justify their jobs and keep bodies in the school.

    As is made more clear every year, the more money spent in education DOES NOT equal more student success....just more pay, and extraordinary benefits for the education bureaucrats.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  25. cassady2euca

    If 12th grade is eliminated then we have one more year where kids are out of school and on the streets ... idle and more prone to get into trouble. There are so few jobs... so where would these "released" kids go? What would they do? Seems like a formula for disaster to me.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  26. Alex

    I teach finance at the undergraduate level at a university and I find the ability of students to communicate in writing and understand mathematics to be well below par. Scrapping 12th grade might be the worst thing to happen to the American education system since "new math".

    February 16, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  27. Sean patterson

    The prez campained on a promise to exchange college tuition for civil service... That's a perfect time to serve before going away to college.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  28. Katey

    Its called "senioritious." The students are goofing around. Its very rare that they are trying to get a head start in college. Take away Senior years and kids will be forced to get a head start.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  29. Anna

    I finished school in 11th grade and it was great that I had that option because it allowed me to start college right away. I think it should definitely be an option for those who already know the field of study they want to go into after school.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  30. William Sprague

    The Senator said that there are two groups: 1 AP Students 2: "Goof offs". What about genuine learning disabled? I have dyslexia and needed my senior year to prepare me for college. I graduated from Slippery Rock University (Class of 1988).

    Sen. Chris Buttars should apologize publically for his remarks!

    February 16, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  31. Donna

    No way should we eliminate anything to do with education. America is already lacking. If we really want to save money we should eliminate the health care given to our congress. Let them fend for themselves as other Americans have to. We should also consider giving congress a pay cut since they are not doing their job anyway.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  32. Tom Thompson

    We've proven we can under-educate them in 12 years, so under-educating them in 11 years should be a "piece of cake"!!!

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  33. Emad S Arram

    I watched your debate on cnn. I think both men could have not put it any better. I graduated H.S. in 1988 from Nebraska. This Idea has been in place and in working condition in Nebraska at least as far as 1986. We had people graduate early & we had people that took classes at the college at the same time as at the HS in their senior year. So, I feel that making it Optional is the key word in the whole debate. Emad

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  34. Ron

    Teens that are serious about moving on with their education and going to college would welcome the change. Teens that don't care about their education are likely to drop out (of high school) before they made it to senior year anyways.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  35. Adam

    The U.S. is quite a ways down the list on educational standards as it is. Eliminating senior year to save money will no doubt kick the nation a few more rungs further down the ladder.
    This is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard, this nation will only get stupider.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  36. Andrew

    If Senior Year was to be removed as a whole, what kind of message are they sending to those who went through their Rite of Passage by completing 12 years of education? That our Senior Year was Obsolete in Actuality? I Graduated High School in 1996, and cherished every second of it! The classes I had were instrumental toward my transition to College.

    Remove Senior Year, you slap the faces of everyone who went through theirs.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  37. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    So what about the teachers who teach the 12th grade do they all get fired ?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  38. Sonja

    I think it should be something done all over the country. Give kids the option to in their freshmen year to do a three year program. Change to a semester system like college where each semester is a different group of classes. Those kids who can't handle the schedule have the option of keeping the traditional system.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  39. Takiva

    No senior year shouldn't be optional because not only is it a rite of passage, it is apart of your personal growing experience in high school. If you stunt that growth, we could potentially have 16-17 year olds heading off to college on a greater scale that are not necessarily ready for the experience, still being in their high school mindset.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  40. amanda

    I graduated in 1996 and at that time about a quarter of my class skipped their senior year to start college. This was at an inner city "magnet" school and those students took two English classes during their junior year to fulfill the requirements.

    Looking back, I wish that I had done it, because when you think of 4-years of undergrad and at least 2-years of graduate, it really makes sense to get ahead on things.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  41. Megan

    I think there should be that option. During my senior year, I went half days to high school and the other half to a community college. It was one of the best decisons of my life. I am now graduating college a year early.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  42. Kevin

    This is probably one of the most sensible ideas for the much needed high school reform that I've heard in a long time.

    Fact is those same classes that they'd probably institute as part of a 4 year plan (as the commissioner suggested) are the classes they'll make you retake as a prerequisite in college. Instead of forcing those classes two times over on students why not allow those who excel in the first 3 years to move and learn something new as a prerequisite? Then students may actually stay awake for those classes.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  43. Rita

    POTUS has used his bully pulpit decrying America's education status throughout the world. Children are our future and Utah wants to send them unprepared into the world to save money. Polite words don't permit expression of my shock, awe, and outrage at this proposal. Civilized countries do not cut their children's education to save money because of their incompetence.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  44. Mark

    We are already under educated through the public schools here in the U.S., and now this. School needs to be intensified, and made more challenging to keep these young minds focused. It's true that it is easier to control the uneducated, and it's also true that the public school system is, by conservative definition, a socialist program, but education has been going backwards for too long now. This proposal to me is moronic, and is not in the best interest of our future.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  45. Tom

    First lets see what Term Limits on ALL Politicians (start in Utah) then we'll talk about how best to cut Education costs. This is ridiculous.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  46. Maggie Burlbaw

    I don't think any state or school should get rid of the senior year. I learned the most my senior year, inside & outside of the classroom. I learned a lot about myself and matured a lot during my senior year of high school. My high school in Kansas did give students the option of graduating early if they had enough credits, just like the senator proposed for Utah. Only 1 student in my class of 420 students took the option. Only 1 student in the class below mine took the option to graduate early also. I think the senator is overestimating the amount of students who are eager to leave high school a year early & skip out on one of the best years to have fun with your friends and enjoy what could be seen as your last year of childhood with limited responsibilities. So I say, go ahead & give Utah students the option but the senator should probably come up with an alternate money saving plan because I don't think there will be as many students participating in his graduation plan as he anticipates.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  47. Austin

    Absolutly not. It's just another way for them to dumb us down and make it easier to control us as a society. Want to save money stop these fake wars that are being used to take our rights in the name of "security".

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  48. Trudi

    Senior year should be optional. If they are worried about students not being up to college standards, let them place test out of those courses that colleges find most high school students are lacking in. My grandson is starting senior year and thought he would just take the one course for the credit he needed to graduate. Fortunately my daughter informed him he would alsostill be taking one english, math, science course also.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  49. Christine

    If Utah's students can meet the state graduation requirements by the end of their junior year, then the graduation requirements aren't tough enough. No wonder so many kids aren't ready for college.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  50. Claire

    Absolutely not! This is preposterous. Imagine sending your seventeen year old– still legally a minor– off to college. Many 18 year olds can't handle their first year of college. Making senior year optional is giving up on children and setting them up for failure. Shame on those Utah lawmakers for even entertaining the idea, especially since this is a money-saving ploy (how cheap!). Let children be children!

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  51. Jackie

    Well said Christian. High school students can also get their diploma online. No need to enter a school building to begin with. And as Christian did, graduate early.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  52. Ron

    Senior Year was a waste of time. Don't romanticize it.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  53. peter hudler dohan

    good but essentially "stupid" question. america is falling behind the world. not only should we have an intensive 12th year but do as canada did or does, have a 13th year. without education, life becomes a cipher. thank you for asking, peter h. dohan, md

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  54. Jim

    This is a radical proposal that one more against American Education. Lawmakers have traditionally cut Education funding, and this is cutting the TIME student's have in school to save money. It's almost Kafkan in scope. Strengthening the *last* year in High School is also a failing idea. Every level of American eduction should be preparing each person for success in their future whether they accept the opportunities provided or not. If anything, College admission should be toughened so that only those with the will to succeed have the opportunity to advance, college is the real culprit in the education discussion and that is where the focus should turn. As for the money, leave education alone – it's already the lawmakers whipping post.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  55. Marissa

    I personally think that the elimination of senior year is completely crazy. I am a senior in college, and clearly remember being a freshman in English composition. Some of my classmates had no idea how to write essays and do works cited pages; whereas graduating from a college-prep school, English and Math were core subjects that were taken every year. I believe it is not the students fault for taking easy classes, it is a result of the classes that are offered for students by the curriculm that allows them to take easy classes. Finally, I believe that if anything, senior year should be more rigorous than any other year in high school because it is the final year before a major change in a young adults academic career.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  56. Christian Fauchald

    Do you honestly think that a LESS educated population is good for America's future? If Utah has a problem with its senior-year students not furthering themselves in their final year, then find a way to inspire them to do so. If anything, more money should be invested in education in order to assure a brighter, more economically secure future for America.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  57. Chea Hancock

    I spent my senior year being talked out of school by not only my peers who didn't want to be there, but by faculty that were disenchanted with their jobs. I then spent the years after leaving my senior year, trying to get back in.

    It's not just about senior portraits and prom (I wasn't the type to care about that stuff anyway). It's about truly remembering our first walk into adult life and implementing the ways we felt we could have better been prepared in our children's educations. We spend too much time encouraging the slow downfall of our education structure and damning the world around us for the way our children are turning out. It's ridiculous. If grown men and women need money to fix the troubling situations we've put ourselves in then let us find the money among ourselves and not take it from the next generation. We should be investing to find incentives to keep our teachers motivated and our kids learning, not trying to cut corners.

    If you cut corners when you're building a house, what happens?? You just have to fix it later, and it'll probably cost you dearly.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  58. Amanda

    I have to admit to being one of those kids that could have easily skipped senior year. However, cutting out that entire year does cut out some of the courses throughout the 3-4 years that can add to a student's physical and mental health such as Music, P.E. and Art. Passing tests and saving money aren't the only important things. It has been proven that having these courses helps improve overall student performance.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  59. Julia Cancro

    Of all the spending in which our government engages, they propose to cut spending on education? Education is the one thing that promises a brighter future. As a sophomore in college, I can confidently say that my senior year of high school prepared me for the next step by providing me with the opportunity to take more challenging classes and the time to develop as a young adult in an environment that is more structured and nurturing than college life. I don't see any advantage in shuffling teens who just finished the SATs and ACTs out the door without the extra year of structured development and experience.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  60. Chris

    This interview epitomizes what is wrong with our society today. The state assumes that students are mature enough to make life decisions at the age of 16, and instead of encouraging kids to get a better education and make more money in the long run, they are encouraging the kids (who they have already failed to motivate) to drop out and enter the workforce.

    Only senile old men would decide to sacrifice their state's future by encouraging half of high school seniors to drop out. If they don't think that lowering education standards in their state won't cause them problems in the long run, they have another thing coming.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  61. Corey

    Wouldn't that just make Junior year the Senior year?? Of course as a high school student, who wouldn't want to graduate early?? I believe there should be tougher academic courses during high school years and bring the option to retaking math, English, etc in college courses and go straight into your "major". Tougher classes in high shook making it to where you go to college and not have to worry about certain classes again or slacking and graduating early from high school and going into the college world having to take all classes.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  62. jackie

    .i would not say we should get rid of it But Making It Optional seems like a good idea. sure there is senior prom and what not but he you look at it like many kids down here in el paso, you find out throughout high school that the honor roll students are not given much motivation. you work you butt off all year to pass your classes and this idiot goofs off knowing six weeks of summer school will get them their credit. giving us honor students the option of graduated early may be just what some kids need to keep their grades up.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  63. Andrew Pudelko

    I think is a great idea. I would go even further and cancel all high school grades to save even more money. It is less expensive to bring students, engineers, researchers, etc. from abroad where education is fully covered by goverments and taxes paid by citizens actually go to support them.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  64. Alex

    I agree to cut the senior classes, but no just cut it, adjust the credits starting from sixth grade and like that when the students get eleventh they are going to be ready at least to get a job and to get college too. Like that this country is going to get new poeple, young people to make new ideas for everybody.

    This way save money for the country and make challenges for our kids to maken much better than us.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  65. Elizabeth

    Part of a school's job is not only to educate teens academically, but also to prepare them for the future and the world outside school. As a college student, who took a year off before enrolling in school, I see many freshman come in that are unprepared for their new-found freedom and responsibility. Seventeen years old is too young to send teens out on their own. Not to mention, by getting rid of senior year as a way to save money, lawmakers are setting the example that money is more important than education.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  66. Charles

    This is tough. I've seen my classmates here at the university struggle to compose a short paper. But then I can remember feeling ready for college long before graduation. It's more complex than senior year, the focus of secondary education needs to be shifted. Why don't we take some tips from Deutschland?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  67. Mark

    Seriously? Someone is proposing sending 16 and 17 year olds off to live on their own at a university?
    A lot of 18 and 19 year olds don't do so well freshman year. You've got the fact that you're living life without parental supervision, a more demanding schedule, financial issues, etc. These are things that a rising high school senior is definitely not ready to handle.
    I thought we were focusing on education? Now someone wants to eliminate senior year because it will save money?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  68. Patty Ursomanno

    I think it may only benifit those that are going on to a higher learning, as for those that aren't all that will do is put them out on the street with no JOB(as there aren't any) and therefor get them into trouble. What about the teachers that will loose there jobs, what do they do? Heres an answer, if the state needs money then let the government officals take pay cuts, governers,congress and senate. Why is it always the working class that has to tighten their belts?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  69. Theresa

    Let's save money @ the expense of our youth. Please!!! The dear old senator really cares about the YOUTH of America! He should offer to donate his salary & perks to help the cause.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  70. DEON

    No!!! they shouldn't get rid of it; I understand both sides of the argument but at a time when the president is placing emphasis on education there are other ways to save state money without minimizing education we shouldn't cut anything just find ways to improve the Education system.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  71. sachismom

    Senior year is disrupted by prom, college applications etc., but eliminating 12th will just push all of this on 11th grade. It'll mean an extra year of college, which is expensive, and less education for those who don't go to college.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  72. Julie

    I skipped my senior year to attend college full-time, it is a decision I've never regretted, and I'm in my 40's now. I was done with the drama of high school and ready for challenging classes. Perhaps this action would force the schools to operate more efficiently ( from the elementary level up ), eliminate the built-in wasted time and the so-called 'fluffy' classes.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  73. Kris

    I find it fascinating that we in America would even consider eliminating a grade in high school just to save a buck (or in this case, 60M dollars). I feel that America, as a whole, is getting dumber not smarter. We need to concentrate our efforts in our own country and not abroad. Why is it that we need to be the worlds watchdog? We say we are a superpower, but I don't see what is so super about the way we run our country. Give the military a bigger budget while lowering or education spending. Great idea. This is why my local university imports students for their advanced math and science degrees. I am not saying too stop paying attention to what is going on, but put more effort into our own citizens. I know that we are greedy nation but it is time to forge ahead; before we get left behind. I have to stop before I go any further. Thank you for your time.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  74. Tonia

    Definitely not. The school system should focus on more prepartion for college and basic life skills such as money and time managment skills during the 12th grade rather than allowing students to take classes that are irrelevant. Those who do not plan to go to college should spend their senior year training for technical jobs in whatever field they would like to enter into. There should also be much more time spent on the college application processes, scholarship and FA searches, and essay writing skills. For those who to plan to enter the workplace immediately following graduation, there should be a practicum that will assist them with the job search, resume writing skills, and interviewing processes.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  75. Larry Gordon, PhD

    YES YES YES. Why? Noting is accomplished. For those who argue that we need stronger math, language arts, science, perhaps this will force the grade 9, 10, and 11 teachers to actually work. W O R K.
    I mean it looks to me in San Antonio TX like TEACHING beats working for a living.

    In any l2th grade in S. A., NEISD, senior yeat is a year to play, in any classroom, the seniors are visiting, listening to music, goofing off, as if the teachers! Nothing is required..oh, I forgot, there is always Theater Arts (they sit and do nothing), Communications (a requirement this year, they do 5th grade work), and the teachers play

    I graduated after llth grade. I home schooled all my children and they scored in the top ten percent of the SAT after l0th grade. l2 gade servies no purpose.

    Most seniors only go half a day anyway because they are on work programs or just disappear.

    Who can we contacted in San Antonio Texas to get this movement stared in Texas?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  76. Steve Waller

    From personal experience High school was a disaster for me psychologially and in the whole learning process. But enough of me.
    High school has been referred to by many as "baby sitting" for teenagers in order to keep them out of trouble and off the streets.
    In many parts of the country schools have gone to year round teaching; why can't we do that with high school? Easily we could compress the high school curriculum into three years by continuing through the summer and save considerable tax payers money.
    Answer: Grade school, High School,both all year round....2-4 years of government service in the Israeli style, THEN higher education.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  77. Left Behind

    Is the school system only concerned with quickening the schooling schedule of students.

    Personally I was left back in the 2nd grade for immaturity. I was always one step behind in some subjects but excelled in others.

    Why, if literally, the student does not have the ability to comprehend certain subjects, such as Algebra, the student may be doomed to a 'less than' schooling and ultimately employment.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  78. Mike

    I'm a senior in the 12th grade right now. In my city, I am attending a "magnet school" (in order to stay at this school, I am required to have a 2.5 GPA every semester). The magnet school is one that has been listed in the top 100 schools in the nation for different magazines. However, this year, I am bored. There is NO challenge to my studies. Many schools offer a half day option for seniors, but my school doesn't. I am only there for English IV, which is a requirement for all of the seniors of the class. Eversince we are at such high standards, almost everyone in the senior class is here this year for English. It's ridiculous.
    One of two things needs to happen:
    (1) eliminate senior year
    (2) have more requirements.
    Many of the viewers like the idea of having more requirements. However, at my school, you have to take core classes (math, science, social studies, and english) for all four years of high school. However, because it's our "senior year," every class requires almost no effort. I think senior year should be eliminated because it's such a pointless year of high school. Sure, one more prom would be missed, but Junior year could become senior year with a high school degree being obtainable in three years. So many seniors have "senioritis" because of the lack of effort needed for a high school degree.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  79. Sonja

    If the entire system was changed to a semester system like in college there would be no decline in the quality of education, actually the quality would improve. Each semester would equal a year of traditional high school, so you actually would have "two extra years" to educate kids. Three years of a semester system would equal 6 years of traditional high school.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  80. Robert

    Getting rid of the senior year of high school has to be one of the stupidest ideas I've heard yet. We need more education, not less. If the senior year is unproductive add more subjects and make at least a subset of them required, not optional. If our country is to have even a small chance of digging out of the hole it is in then it will be based largely on the education of those in school now, and as things are now it will be other countries next generations that will lead the next great economic revolution.

    People must be better educated, if not for their careers, then so they will make wise decisions about their elected leaders. Electing people that promise the world for free is insane, yet it seems that our schools do not even teach that. (Of course if they did, then it would be called a left wing plot.)

    February 16, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  81. Lois Grey

    Get rid of education???? My Lord, we are already so far behind some other nations!
    I agree that not all students need a high school diploma. (Am I disagreeing with myself? Perhaps.)
    I have had foreign exchange students from Germany and I believe they have a system that seems to work for them.
    At a young age, perhaps Middle school or Junior high, students are separated in groups. One group goes on in school for industrial positions, others go on with more severe education requirements. These students have excellent language abilities, sometimes in 4 or 5 languages. They are well prepared for World knowledge.
    I can understand that teaching, or trying to teach an auto mechanic 3 languages and to excel in math and science for example is not needed. I do not know why everyone needs to know how to sew or cook. Perhaps we need to look at who is offered what.
    My daughters took part in college classes that qualified as both high school and college credits. It was an excellent way to give them a "leg up" in college. (One is now a volcanologist, the other an ultrsound tech.)
    I'm not sure what will work here in the USA, but I don't think eliminating 12th grade is the answer. I do believe we need to revise our education system somehow.
    Thank you for letting me vent!

    Lois Grey

    February 16, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  82. Eli

    I am a high school senior who will attend college next year. Other than my AP classes), none of my classes actually matter and I don't learn anything. If you think not taking senior year is going to de-educate our society, go back to high school and see how much you actually learn. I know a few well motivated students that are graduating early with my class, and I think they will do just fine.

    The solution:
    Spend the $60B that would be saved on things education needs, and not junk classes that seniors take just to stay enrolled.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  83. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    I am but two years away from attending my 50th class reunion. I cannot think of any class I took that year that could have been eliminated. Advanced placement English was a challenge, but, with the small class size, we who were all college-bound got a good helping of real academics.

    I also got a taste of teaching inasmuch as my math teacher often asked me to help other students with their work.

    Our salutorian completed all his requirements in three years because he had been given advanced placement as early as junior high school.

    If anything, we need more school time focused on academics.

    That Senator, like the "Tea Party MOB", is insane to think we need less government – less education. The real problem is that people who scream 'less government' have crippled our country's need to provide vital services to every community. They provide no alternative for how to provide the services that they want the government to terminate.

    I would ask the Senator: "Who will provide the education you wish to cut/" I know he'll either evade the issue or give you a 'snow job' about high taxes.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  84. Emad S Arram

    I happen to take all 12th grades, but took classes at the college as early as the summer between my junior and and senior years. As well as in my senior year. I did not graduate early, but I know many did.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  85. C Cachet

    Twelve years of compulsory education was an idea born out of the Great Depression as the easiest way to take laborers out of the workforce, thus artificially lowering the unemployment rate. Before that time, most Americans dropped out of school between the 6th and 8th grade. My grandfather, with a 6th grade education, ran a very successful business and retired comfortably. So, the primary purpose of K-12 is really to warehouse people to “get them off the streets” (as cassady2euca suggests) and out of the job market. Also, I see no evidence to support the notion that more education has in any way empowered the public to control our politicians. We continue to re-elect the same do-nothing incumbents whose only agenda is to get re-elected in perpetuity.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  86. shirl cox

    as someone who taught high school English for 30 years and Seniors for most of that time, I can say that there is so much wasted time in the school day to begin with and we won't even talk about senioritis which begins the day after winter break and continues until, absolutely eleven years is enough. Our education needs to be some cases, it has not changed since the 19th century....

    February 16, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  87. Clara

    Senior year is more of a continuation of junior year. What is truly important is the quality, not the quantity. If education departments would toughen up the curriculum there would be no need for an extra year. What they should enforce is that upon graduation all kids must be enrolled in an university, military, or municipal job ( and those that don't want any of those options could take senior year.)

    Also, all the memories from senior year would simply happen during junior year.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  88. J.D. Bedsole

    YES we should get rid of the 12th grade. In fact, I was so bored in school I quit after 2 weeks in the 9th grade. Eventually, I had to get a high school equivalency diploma simply because it was REQUIRED to get into college, not because it was something I wanted to do, or missed out on. Imagine my extreme disappointment when I got into a university for a B.S. degree only to learn that fully the first two years of courses were basically nothing more than a repeat of high school courses such as reading, writing and math, with very few non-repeat, degree-related courses. I obtained 2 B.S. degrees, an M.S. degree and a PhD, thanks in no small part, to my library research and reading skills. No thanks at all to my schooling from the 5th grade to the 9th. I was also surprised to find that a 4-year Bachelors degree in general was nothing really, more than only 2 years of degree-related courses, with very few exceptions such as for Medicine and some Engineering degrees. What should be done is to eliminate the 10th through the 12th grades, and only teach such subjects as getting a job, work ethics, loans, buying consumer goods such as cars and refrigerators, balancing your checkbook, comparison-financing, buying food and a house, mortgaging, paying monthly bills, managing a home budget and other such subjects which would prepare students who don't go to college, for an independent life after grade 11. As it is now, after the 12th grade, students know nothing about such things and suddenly they are on their own, struggling in a sea of unknowns, having graduated from the 12th grade, with zero skills needed in the real world. A B.S. degree in some countries is 4 years of whatever the major field of study is and thats the way it should be in this country.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  89. Dave

    As a two sport high school coach, I am concerned for many obvious reasons but in addition to those are we potentially allowing our kids to be exposed even younger to the irresponsible world of sports agents and recruiting tactics? What's next.....a 15 year old playing in the NBA?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  90. Mel

    Buttar's proposal to make the senior year of high school optional will surely make the year's top ten list of crackpot ideas. A lot more under-educated kids coming into the work force is just what the country needs now. Maybe that state needs an IQ test for its legislators.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  91. Fred

    The goal of education should not be to produce a human version of the computer; capable of swift, complex, and precise mathematical calculation, scientific logic The notion that the arts are a waste of time, and dilute academic prowess is likely the most harmful contemporary pedagogical myth. The diminishing quality of this country's educational efficacy parallels its diminishing emphasis on artistic and cultural enrichment. Good health and physical development are also indispensable components of the wholistic maturation of students. Instead of continuing the insanity of being guided by stampeding technology, devoid of humanistic values. Educators need to grab this sociological bull by the horns. Humanity needs to guide technology instead of the present converse reality.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  92. meg

    People are complaining re: the cost of college educations. Now you will have one less year to save towards it. Instead of politicians deciding your children's futures educators input should be a necessity. I'm Canadian-how old are some of these senators-can they even remember when they went to high school??

    February 16, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  93. c-u-r-m-u-d-g-e-o-n

    Agreeing with Andrea, Dolores and Richie, senior year is a time to celebrate sports and social success. Agreeing with Christrian, not everyone needs or wants senior year.
    We are questioning senior year because the competitive college admissions record is already complete. We defend it because preparation for the open-admissions college is not yet complete. But we are talking about different students.
    We can agree that not one size curriculum or extra-curriculum fits all. But as we individualize it, we must avoid humiliation for those who need more time. One way would be a SERVICE expectation for every student: the whizzes spend a period tutoring, the jocks spend a period coaching, the stars spend a period counseling. Every student spends one period per day helping and one period receiving help. That leaves two fewer periods for goofing off.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  94. Cindy Boley

    As an educator, and a parent of a child who graduated early, I believe that many students are ready for college by their senior year. Not all children are mature enough to graduate early, but for those students who plan to further their education and have accumulated required credits for college entrance, they should be able to be tested out in 11th grade. More importantly, many times schools do not offer classes that promote education in the students field of study; therefore, time and money is wasted on "fluff" courses. Highschool does not always promote cherrished memories and can be very stressful for many; therefore, assessment should be made with the administrators, advisors, parents, and student all in attendance to evaluate not only academic readiness, but social and psycological stabiliy as well.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  95. Scenario

    Buttars closing argument: "I can't believe it cost $120M to send me to the prom." You know what, Senator? We can.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  96. Jeannie

    I can see the argument for making senior year optional. By the time I hit my senior year I only had to go for four periods and that was because it was required. I was a teachers aide for an hour, had two electives and one required AZ history class. As soon as I finished those four hours a day I headed over to the local community college and took classes there. If I had not had been required by law to be there I would have spent the whole day at the community college. So I can see the argument and since it would be up to the student and the family I think there really is not reason not to go forward with it. The student who need the extra year for would have it and for those students that would be wasting time and want to move forward could.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  97. Robin

    The schools have paid more attention to their attendance records, that they have forgotten how to teach students. We have the "No Child Left Behind" Federal Law, which has so many loop holes for the students to graduate high school and not know how to spell, or use correct grammar. I don't think that getting rid of your senior year is a good thing. If the seniors have their credits, then have them start going to a community college and get their basic classes out of the way. Also, as a counselor and parent...we all need to make an effort to stress to our youth the importance of education. Both my husband and I graduated in 1979, and 1984, however our counselors never talked to us about college or your future. We have both turned out fine, however, with a little push from our counselors/parents we could have done better.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  98. Donald

    Although some might benefit, how about all those who after 12 or more years still end up in remedial mathematics and English after entering college?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  99. Elliot

    We cannot cling to a broken educational system in hopes that we can make it work. My senior year was a waste of time and finishing it is the biggest mistake I've ever made. Dropping out and finishing high school at our community college would have put me in college six months early. Let's drop this broken system and become globally competitive.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  100. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Som earlier comments indicate that the 12th grade is an opportunity to 'slack off'.

    I had an entirely different situation. My mother was surprised when, as a freshman with one study hall, I had no homework. From that moment, she insisted that i maintain a schedule with five academic classes each subsequent year. I had no time to 'slack off'.

    I had an after-school job, too.

    I've since heard a story from one of my friends that, if she did not make the honor roll, she'd be grounded.

    eliminating a whole year of high school is insane.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  101. chuck

    Get rid of Senior Year? When wil they learn the eighth grade material?

    February 16, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  102. Butch

    While we're at it, lets drop first grade...we have headstart and second will be like first and then to save even more money lets skip fourth and go from third on to fifth...whats wrong with you people? We neglect our kids enough and whether you think senior year is a cakewalk or not, its a precurser to college and the life beyond. I think the first two years of college should be required and paid for but if we're just interested in saving money lets get people off welfare so they can do the menial jobs that we reserve for illegals, that alone would save several billion $$$. And while we're at it lets stop trying to control the world by waging war on everyone that urinates on our bowl of cereal....

    February 16, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  103. Fred

    I taught high school in an inner-city public school system. For most students; the majority of the educational value, at each yearly level, is severely compromised by the lack of enforced classroom discipline. For the rest it is irreparably compromised. The fault lies mainly in the home. In descending order, the school board, school administrations, and finally the teachers are responsible. Even if one disagrees; the crippling effect of virtual anarchy in many (if not most) public schools is irrefutable.The number of years spent in such environments, while very important, is secondary.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  104. Darcy

    Reading the comments from the seniors who stated their senior year was a waste-maybe the curriculum needs to be changed. Classes in money management,finances, basic things as setting up a budget. A few years ago credit card ownership was the norm for the college student. How many were responsible with that ownership. I still think @ 17 you still need some supervision.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  105. Barbara Johnson

    "I graduated in 3 years so that I could go onto to further my education in a college atmosphere rather than wasting a whole year as a senior just taking blow-off classes & study halls like most of the seniors do."

    Dan...Aren't you the smart one? The current Congressional problems we are experiencing is because of attitudes like yours. I am wonderful and the rest of the population takes 'blow-off' classes and study halls".

    Education is much more than the classes you take. It is part of the maturation process of human beings as they grow. As some have suggested, if changes need to occur...they can take place within the structure of the senior year. Many...not a few...many young people make decisions on their entire future in that year after cramming the previous years with other subject matter. They are able to begin to create a life of leadership and positive attitudes toward other human beings by participating in the varied programs which occur in that time period. Since there are some people who 'drop out'...for various reasons...perhaps those with 'I'm wonderful' attitudes should become "push-outs" and those who value their education remain.
    Just think of proms...only Tea Parties for Push-outs...!!


    February 16, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  106. BJ Hayes (1st name only)

    I agree that proms are a colossal waste of money, time, and if not eliminated entirely,they should be downsized to an event such as a fund-raiser dinner for the school or community.

    The twelth grade exists, most of the time, to pad grade point averages by taking easy classes.
    Why not give all students in the 11th grade the SAT before their senior year?
    Then, using the weak areas identified by test, use the 12th for remedial courses focusing on writing and maths; and Advanced Placement courses for those who qualify.
    ..................High School Teacher for 20 years

    February 16, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  107. Roy Jones

    Once more, we have two old men sitting on TV Telling us they are Reducing Education to save money and make are kids more compitive worldwide... Reducing education to better this country is just a sigh of Short sighted people, that have know idea of Foundation. I Could Save the money and Increase Education, 3 full..
    Once more, two old men that have allready sold there soal and have money to send there Kids to private School.. what do they care.
    about America...

    February 16, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  108. Darcy

    What is the rush? Society loves the word education , that's all fine & dandy. But when you rush these young people through & they have a grade 8 reading level,can barely do basic math @high school graduation what will be the next hair brain idea!

    February 16, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  109. Nancy Devens

    Unbelievable. What a knee jerk reaction to save money. terrible idea. Our children are forced to grow up too soon as it is. Give them that final year to explore their electives, catch up on their gpa, and shine in classes in preparation for college.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  110. Pam

    Do I think they should eliminate the 12th grade? Yes if the person wants to move on and no for those who is not ready or mature enough knowledge wise. It is the school responsiblility to help students to succeed at least for those who want to.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  111. Fred Marshe

    Rather than do away with the senior year, we should go to a 12-month school year. The current system was established many years ago so the students could help with harvest which doesn't happen any more.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  112. Steveo

    Scraping 12th grade would be in step with what's happening in America – i.e. it's dumbing down. If we want our kids to have wisdom and intelligence, then we need to take the education up a notch. I think there should be more "grades" rather than less. The more exposed these kids are to learning, the more they'll learn. Parents should take more of a role in educating their kids as well. Don't leave it it ideological state apparatuses like government funded and directed schooling, parents should teach kids about our world.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  113. Sean

    While academically, many high school students may be ready for the challenges of a college course load, most are not emotionally ready. College is a huge adjustment for many students. For most, it's the first time away from home, away from the structure of a controlled, family environment, away from the benefit of essential parental guidance that is the core of their ethical reasoning and positive decision-making skills. In order to be successful, students must be emotionally ready for the challenges presented by being away from home in a rigorous academic and socially challenging environment. The psychological growth made in the senior year is an essential component in readying these students for success in higher education.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  114. Kayla

    As a teaching assistant for a freshmen history class, I see first hand how unprepared so many students are for college, especially regarding their writing and critical thinking skills. Instead of getting rid of twelfth grade, we should actually be focusing on making classes more rigorous and challenging, and not handing students diplomas just to get them out of the system.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  115. Ben Blue

    I graduated from high school last spring. During my senior year I actually dual enrolled at a local community college and attended no classes at my high school. I was much better prepared for my current classes at the University of Florida by dual enrolling than I ever would have been attending classes at my high school. Is a senior year necessary? Probably not, because those who value their education will continue it after high school anyways, and to those who don't care, it shouldn't make a difference.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  116. Tom Mayhew

    What ever happened to taking the classes that you needed during your senior year, getting out of school at 10:30 and going to your JOB! I went to school a half day my junior and senior year, and was required to have a job in order to graduate. Send these kids in for half a day, then make them go to work. This way they will have the experience of working before the graduate and head to college. This way, the State saves money with half days, and the kids are taught responsibility about having a job.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  117. Jerry

    here is another example of how money is the most important.
    the kids future don't matter. The adminastrators have'nt given any consessions but the children have to.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  118. Dave

    Senior year is a year of maturity a "comming of age". The state should consider the economic impact on the community. No senior pictures, no proms, no renting limos, no tuxes or dresses, no dining out, no class rings etc. Instead of looking to save 60mil they should look at how the can educate their seniors better to get a bigger bang for their buck.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  119. W. Scott McKenna

    My senior year was one of the most intense and greatest years of my life. With Facebook and various “modern” social networking vehicles that are available, I have been able to restablish many former friendships from that year. It certainly helps me connect the past with the present. It helps me remember a life when our family had dinner together, went to church together and grow up together. I think my Senior year was another strong link to take the quality lessons from the past, integrate them into today and give me the wisdom of time. I wouldn’t want that period of time taken from that link, experience and perspective.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  120. P. J.

    As a college English instructor, I see way too many kids coming into their freshman year unprepared for a college curriculum. Doing away with the senior year in high school will only serve to transfer undereducated kids to college professors—and that is a drain on university resources, as we often have to get students "up to speed" because they lacked enough education in high school. There's no need to rush. Kids might not think they're learning anything in high school, but really they aren't mature enough to make that kind of self-assessment. They need to incubate in high school as much as they can instead of plunging into the adult world unprepared.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  121. d.j.

    absolutely.not only is a waste of taxpayers money,but the kids now type on their cell phones in 6th grade and know more than the 8th graders 20 years ago.the world is moving forward,so the education system should adapt as well.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  122. Samantha Strain

    That this would be a debate is, frankly, rediculous. Senior year is not meant to be a year of frivolous classes and social events, it is to continue preparation for college and beyond. As a junior, I have my senior year filled out with AP Classes and electives that will hopefully help me figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

    For those of my peers who like to say that we're 'finished learning' after junior year....why are we continuing to college, then? This sort of arrogance is more evidence that proves us teenagers to be immature – most certainly NOT prepared to leave high school.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  123. Steve Handy

    I think that it would be a good idea to scrap the senior year of high school. This is merely a change in the mindset of what is considered to be senior year. Americans need to be less sentimental and more competative. There are many European young adults waiting to take advantage of job opportunities in America. They are not only advanced academically, they are also younger because they graduate earlier than American young adults. In most European countries children graduate when they are 16 years of age. It is important to remain competative in an age of globalization A change in thinking about this matter would be good.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  124. Ardeshir

    I think this proposal is scaling back education to fix a budget problem and won't produce any brighter students.

    Education is already poorly funded nationwide and that's the real fundamental problem. We should start looking at ways to add to its budget. The reason we're not smarter than a 5th grader and we're getting our clocks cleaned on the global comparisons is because we don't invest in our education system. Are you familiar with the phrase "You get what you pay for.."?

    February 16, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  125. s lemons

    Kids learn nothing about the adult world in school. So the sooner they enter the job market, the sooner they learn the reality of what it really costs to live, how little wages are left after taxes, housing and general "life maintenance" expenses. I'll bet 90% of 12th graders don't even know what their parent's rent or mortgage is, let alone what a home budget forecast looks like. The themes of comments in favor of more education are fairly consistent: entitlement, fear of being called "stupid" or "unintelligent," the myth that more education leads to higher pay or financial security and the desire to perpetuate various "coming of age" traditions. This is why our education system hasn't changed since the 19th century.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  126. Sheri Potter

    Dear Kyra & Staff,
    Long, but is my Feedback! Thanks for this format and length.
    Statements are made that HS grads aren't ready for the world. Age 16, too many kids are paying for gas & cigs so have to work. Others are in hardcore sports & extra school activities. Where is time to study? Cut the hardcore sports, timeconsumers. Classes are added to give kids more knowledge! There isn't time to study basic subjects. Thankfully, I had no Internet/24 hr TV. I read my sci text 2x & rec'd A s. College Q: What is a buffer? I thot teacher tricking us on reading. I got it wrong. After my verbal Q later "How do you know..." meaning "How does Science know", he said I was about to be kicked out! I was very studious & able to communicate w teachersin the past! I said the same, accidentally to another teacher, & apologized. But he knew what I meant! Students need to be learning their basic subjects with quality teachers. Some take college courses without having to pay College Fees. Good. If kids are college ready with all their basic knowledge, grad early. If someone isn't learning in HS because of boredom, speed up their # of classes!! I had to study excessively hard! There was so much info in just 4 or 5 'solid' classes!! Should not have to take HomeEc, either! Learned more at home & in 4-H. Should not have to take music & art electives in college where we pay for them & need the time for our Science & Microbiology or accounting courses. In fact, the whole education system must needs be reworked! Let intelligent people propose changes & stop the nay saying. There are Junior Proms, why need Senior Proms? Too many spend lots, change clothes, & do things they later wish they hadn't!!
    If someone wants to walk across the platform to the podium for their diploma after they have graduated & been in college a year, let them!! I know several who wouldn't give in to that ceremony! in HS or college.
    This took a long time to write, so I hope your staff at least reads it.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  127. Vicky Madaule

    One of the biggest problems is that if you can finish high school in 3 years is that your high school curriculum has been watered down. My Senior year was spent taking Physics, upper level Math, English, History, PE, and (I must admit useless) Senior Problems. I took my SAT after no particular practice and got into an excellent university but I still felt that my high school courses could have been even more challenging.
    The biggest problem for making teachers accountable for their students' progress is that their progress is not only dependent on their own efforts but on a great deal of parameters that are totally out of their own control (unlike most jobs where you are judged on your own efforts and results): the willingness of the students to learn, the proper working conditions, the support for maintaining needed discipline, and even something so basic as proper food and health care. Students who come from poor families often have to deal with poverty, violence, and no place to work in.
    Having worked in 3 different countries at all levels from 6th grade to university, I know that a teacher's job is not easy. Learning is hard work and today's students often feel that learning and entertainment are synonymous. Parents think their kids shouldn't be given too much homework, when it is only practice that allows you to master skills. Many students think that going to school and holding down a part-time job should be convenient so they can get more things. Well, going to school is a full-time job and takes effort.
    Lowering requirements, cutting school budgets, and eliminating school years can only lower levels of education.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  128. j benny

    I think Steve Handy is on to something. It would be a good idea to scrap the notion of grades all together and allow young people to earn credits, in the same model of our university system. For those who say we need ever more education I would suggest they lobby for a tiered minimum wage system. Starting at $8 per hour for an 8th grade diploma and rising to a $30 per hour minimum wage for a graduate degree. I guarantee you many of the jobs that require bachelor's degrees will suddenly drop their requirements to the 8th grade. In any economy, employers want the cheapest labor they can acquire. (Why else would 99% of employers fail to disclose a salary range on their job postings.) I've done split run job search mailing tests, disclosing my bachelor's degree to one group and showing only a high school diploma to the other. The high school group always yields more interviews - by about 3:1. One prospective employer recently complimented me on my resume and background, adding he'd hire me if I only had an AA degree. I contacted the local junior college to see if they'd grant me an AA so I could dumb down my qualifications to qualify for an available job. They didn't respond.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  129. Richard A. "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.

    I can think of no better way to seriously discredit US high school graduates and make them even less competitive than they are now against overseas labor. We should be going in exactly the opposite direction!

    February 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  130. kemey

    Eliminating senior year and high school sounds like a good idea. You just don't need high school subjects to work in customer service, at burger king or walmart. Unless you are going to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer don't waste your money going to college. It is a myth that education for everyone is important to our future. If parents think high school is so important then parents should send their kids to private school. New flash, there are no good jobs for your kids. The corporate world wants cheap labor. The federal government is broke, the state governments are broke, and the politicians don't care about main street.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  131. Scott Stodden

    First and foremost Kyra I love you so much in the mornings you are truly a great and no nonsense journalist, keep up the good work, America needs you! Regarding your question absolutly not, we should not get rid of senior year! This is the most memorable year that high school students will ever remember in there lives who make it this far. You have prom, and graduation to think about and so many other things and senior year is the next stepping stone before college, if its not broken why fix it Kyra?

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  132. Barbara Johnson

    "New flash, there are no good jobs for your kids. The corporate world wants cheap labor. The federal government is broke, the state governments are broke, and the politicians don’t care about main street."

    So we should roll over and let them have their way? I don't think so...
    Courage and perseverance is what built out Country, not apathy and allowing intimidation to control our lives. Make your own jobs...Innovate...don't just sit there and wait for someone to hand you your silver spoon...because no one will...


    February 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  133. sd marcom

    I will agree that some jobs require advanced training and pay salaries commensurate with the required skills, but probably less than 10% of jobs are what most of us would call "good jobs." Ironically, teaching is one of those fields that requires ridiculous amounts of education but doesn't pay enough to justify the cost. I understand half of teachers drop out of the field in their first 5 years. What does that tell us? The fact is, we have no idea what kinds of jobs are out there. We have no national job bank and no method to provide a qualitative rating on available jobs in inventory. We can't assume that all healthcare jobs, for example, are high skill/high wage. Many pay wages on par with fast food establishments, yet require much more education. The President's economic stimulus package is targeting "infrastructure" jobs. What high school graduate wants to be out digging trenches and pouring cement? This is not 1939 when most Americans worked with their hands on farms. Indeed, the No Child Left Behind Act wants every kid to get a bachelor's degree. If the President were serious about quality job creation, he'd direct the U.S. Department of Labor to create a national job bank and a universal grading system for the quality of jobs being offered. He'd also propose a "Job Information Disclosure Act" to require employers to disclose basic information about job offerings, similar to the "Monroney Sticker" that has been required on automobiles since 1958. It's ironic that consumers have far more information on which to base a car purchase decision on than a job offer.

    February 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  134. Bobbi from Los Angeles, CA

    Are you aware that time-Warner Cable in Los Angeles has lost the FEED for CNN, and this has been going on for TWO DAYS? T-W says it's a transmission problem from your broadcast site...

    February 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  135. Jane

    Just a quick note on the senators take on a teachers ability to teach all students. First, has he ever set foot in a classroom? Students vary in ability levels and in what they can learn. To state that outside factors such as home life should not affect my ability to teach is wrong. Teenage kids suffer from depression, broken homes, drug use and parents who are "out to lunch". These factors filter in and change the classroom and a students ability to learn. To tell me I should be fired because a student isn't performing is not fair. I may be doing everything in my power to see a kid reach goals, but other forces fighting against me can and often do win. A kid may have fight with mom, come to school take the state test and fail it. That's my fault? Please, do some thinking senator.

    February 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  136. Wojciech Moskal

    In the town I went to high school, Lowell MA, I know the school gives students an option of taking collage classes at the local university. But they still have to complete 4 years of high school while getting credits from collage as well. I thing this is best way of doing so because a lot of them do not do well at the university level therefore benefiting from additional year at the high school.

    February 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  137. Jackie

    The students should be required to take an end of year exam for each grade. If they don't pass they don't move on to the next grade. I worked at a school and found one of our high school students who couldn't read! My question was, why is this school district passing this student to the next grade.

    February 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  138. Barbara Johnson

    "I contacted the local junior college to see if they'd grant me an AA so I could dumb down my qualifications to qualify for an available job. They didn't respond"

    As I said...It's all about attitude. This request doesn't warrant a response. Insulting everyone else accomplishes nothing. It's the old 'sheepskin' comment. Says the someone who worked his way up.."I do better than those with a sheepskin"!! The sarcasm is the indicator...It is the psychological cry"I need attention and the best way to get that is to make myself look better than tnose around me"...The only problem with this Everyone else knows why people do this...and it only makes the 'fools' more apparent.

    This attitude permeates the 'other' political party right now. You know, the one that has a rubber stamp on the end of their pencils...When a political snippet comes out...All of the party members start stamping it into the ground...having temper tantrums...and looking like...Yes..'fools'....


    February 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  139. john sudic

    How about STOP spending ridiculous amounts on the military weapons and senior year will not be an issue as well as health care far all!!!

    February 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  140. Mike

    Eli! Thank you! We're both on the same page. So many people say that their senior year WAS so filled with memories, but what about those of us who are in senior year? I agree with you totally, and senior year has been a waste of our time. We are definetly able to grow up to become adults one less year. Senior year has been a joke, waste, and boring year of my life.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  141. Jim in Springfield, IL

    I'm amazed at these politicians–first demand teachers do more with less, meet higher standards while they cut funding, they demand we teach values while our hands are tied by more and more rules developed by legislators like this guy.... He needs to retire.

    February 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  142. Kyle Taylor

    Short answer: No.

    Why not?

    The fact that this proposal is even being considered is a sign of failure not only for our educational system, but also for our society and culture as a whole. To conceive that any part of the educational process is not worthy does not mean that we should simply dispose of it. If anything, it means the opposite - we should be repairing and restructuring the entire atmosphere of learning in this country. The fact that some graduating high school students are incapable of writing a simple analytical essay is evidence enough that there are fundamental issues with the system as it stands. We are doing a disservice to our youth, the nation and the world community by driving students away from schools. Any legitimate educator should agree that when a child despises the benefits and privileges of an educated life, there is something terribly wrong. Rather than hacking away at the foundation of the future, perhaps our Senators should be looking in to progressive advances in teacher education and educational theory. There is absolutely no logical reason for any person to hold a natural disdain towards learning, it is and always has been an intrinsic part of being human - it is hardwired in to our brains. With that, the only explanation is a problem that lies within our inconsistent and irrational feelings towards education.

    Whether or not a person will be going on to higher education is irrelevant. To say that a doctor and a cashier should not have the same foundational education in their formative years is a shortsighted and immature perspective. It is not uncommon for people to switch careers several times throughout their lives, and while it is illogical to believe that every employee at your local burger joint will want to go on to become a lawyer, it does NOT mean that we should be ignoring their needs as humans and making their place in our society any less meaningful. We should be striving for a culture of educated individuals on all levels and of every socioeconomic background. Those who wish to pursue a higher education will have the option as they always have, and those who do not can live out their lives in a manner of personal fulfillment to whatever degree they choose.

    February 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  143. cindy long

    i am raising my 15 yr old grand daughter and i cannot believe the goverment wants to take -take-take how about leaving the school system alone and paying our trachers more than the crap the get paid for trying to carry our future most of the time on they're own money? and as for health care how about the goverment putting everyone in the great Usa on thier insurance plan? they have great coverage while i can't even afford to get my grandbabbirs braceses.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  144. Han G Thesobs

    Now THAT's STUPID. I hung around and took extra classes for a1 semester just to play Soccer in High School. That was in 1971. Now you say it's NOT legal to graduate early? That's a LIE! Every day you hear about hard-working students graduating early. Well, here in Cal any way. Are you saying it's ILLEGAL to get done early some where? Sounds like a completely made up story. You mean there's some BACKWARD MORONIC STATES that force students to stay in High School when they've already completely finished all their requirements?

    Let me guess... which states do that? The ones with the LEAST educated population? It's PAST time to stop letting people WITHOUT an education "determine" what education everyone ELSE should get!

    February 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm |