Senior Skip Day


Colorado legislators might decide to eliminate the 12th grade and spend the money saved on an extra year of preschool. Ron Marr thinks the first half of the proposal sounds great.

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  1. Hey, we have to provide a name and e-mail address now?

    No more anon postings?

  2. WASHINGTON, D.C. ? Congressional Republicans last week requested a formal examination by the U.S. General Accounting Office of the federal Head Start program due to reports of financial mismanagement at several Head Start centers around the country. Several accounts of misspending Head Start money have surfaced, including reports of a $10.5 million loss in Charleston, S.C., and a $300,000 salary with a Mercedes lease for the Head Start executive director in Kansas City, Mo.

    “The Head Start establishment has a growing credibility problem,” John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Work Force, told the New York Times. “The information in this report will help teachers, parents and taxpayers know the extent of the problem, and should ultimately help Congress agree on some solutions.”

  3. Mark S.:

    That is the beauty of my plan. If the class is handled correctly, territorial chest thumping (often translated as thumping on folks such as ourselves) goes down right along with teen pregnancies.

    Get kids to take care of business at least once a day every day, and the world would be a better place.

    I guess I can’t advocate a government program, but if I had a voucher school, it would be in the curriculum.

  4. Anonymous, you are just so yesterday’s posts!

  5. Andrew Carneigie opined in Think and Grow Rich, that most neccesary youth education could be completed in about 6 to 8 years. In historical hindsight, we can see that is likely true, especially if extracurriculars were skipped and left to the private sector.

    Oh, and another great 20th century philosopher – George Carlin – suggests that we divide all students into 2 groups, teaching one group how to read/write and the other to be math whizzes. As long as you didn’t become a social recluse as an adult, you’d likely always have someone nearby to provide you with needed answers in life….heh

  6. I think in the four years of high school I had maybe two years of actual education (being generous) and two years of sitting in a holding tank.

    I propose that high school last two years and undergraduate school last six. That was fun. I could have done undergraduate school for six years.

  7. One would think Colorado would wait until the scandal about Head Start has got closer to resolution before aiming to pour more money down that preschool rat hole.

  8. Canadian provinces, which have historically
    had much more heterogeneous educational
    systems than the US states, have both added
    and eliminated grades in the last few decades.
    Just last year, Ontario eliminated “grade 13”,
    an extra year of high school intended for
    university bound students. This created a
    “double cohort” of university students that
    has created all sorts of trouble. It has
    also led to lots of people repeating grade
    12 so that they can get into a better
    university next year, when they face less
    competition. There is evidence in the
    literature on some of the other Canadian
    episodes of this type, but I do not have
    Econlit handy so I will omit the cite here.

    In regard to the Colorado proposal, my main
    concern would be departure from standardization.
    This would make it harder, for example, for
    Colorado students to attend universities in
    other states, as it would be unclear whether
    or not they were as prepared in their 11 years
    as other students would be in 12.


  9. I’ve grown to believe that many of the world’s problems could be solved with the addition of a class in each of the HS years that promotes, how to say, relieving one’s own tension, right there, on the spot. Make that study hall useful, I say.

    With a few years under my belt now, I am absolutely convinced that a proper appreciation for, er, tension management, saved my life during that period.

    Benefits include: decreased teenage pregnancy, the higher self esteem associated with not dating That chick, and improved grades (don’t believe me? Experiment: Try to say something intelligent in the presence of a good looking woman before tension management, then after. Now recall how many women were good looking back in the day.) No regrets later in life is a big plus, too.

  10. Here I was thinking spending on more preschool could be scandalous. Now here’s Jason Ligon advocating more spending on “tension management.”
    I guess brainstorming is what Hit n Run is about??!! Or maybe it’s “tension management.”

  11. Ruthless,

    Out of curiosity, what Colorado Head Start scandal are you talking about? I know there was a big shakeup about six or seven years ago; are you talking about fallout related to that or about something new altogether?

  12. If High School was run in anything approaching a sensible manner then students would be able to get the same education that they get in the first year of college. I don’t think it will make any real difference if they add or remove grades, the problem is the entire public school system.

    That said, public preschool would be nice because it would give a daycare option to parents. I’d like to see it optional though, so stay-at-home parents can teach kids on their own, like they do now. It’s the kids who are stuck in crappy day care or with babysitters because their parent(s) have to work low paying jobs that would benefit from public preschool.

  13. The whole thing is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Does anyone really think it will make a smidgeon of difference if your twelve years of government schooling run from ages 5-17 rather than ages 6-18?

  14. By the time kids are old enough for 12th grade, if they haven’t already been processed into compliant human resources through “zero tolerance,” D.A.R.E., ritalin, and the official version of American history, they’re probably a lost cause anyway.

    Much more efficient to start at the other end–get them away from their atavistic families and into the hands of Properly Trained Professionals (TM) as soon as possible.

  15. I think Jason’s idea is brilliant. Eddie Murphy had a bit about being in class in high school and suddenly getting “tense” for no reason (well, the reason is that our hormones are going through the roof at that age). Of course, at that moment, the teacher asks you to write something on the board. This was a comedy bit, but it actually happens.. I’ll swear on a stack of bibles.

    Hmmmmm. Maybe they can bring in strippers as tension-therapists. I wouldn’t have hated high school nearly as much 🙂

  16. It matters not how they designate the years you spend in the school system. High school is just pre-school with bigger kids and more sex.

  17. fyodor,
    I’m pretty sure there’s a Head Start scandal in Southern Ohio.
    I assumed an extrapolation to Colorado.
    Can someone help me?

  18. Justin: While most kids are 18 by the time they start college, a significant portion are not. Most of them have their 18th birthdays within the first semester, but still, there are a lot of underage kids in the dorms, and it hasn’t brought the system down yet. Most colleges just have your parents sign a form, and you can go. So 17 year olds in college isn’t a new issue, nor is it, in most cases, any problem.

  19. The only scandal that I know of is that kids in Head Start don’t do any better than the kids who don’t go to Head Start.

    Given the already low level of maturity of the average college freshman, do we really want to start dumping a LOT of 17 year olds onto campuses?

  20. In my high school days, my classmates got all the tension relief that they could ever want… by picking on me. Of course, this didn’t do a thing to releive any of MY tension, but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one and all that.

    About three years ago, I heard of a suggestion that we modify the high school grade structure by allowing teens who have no interest in going on to higher education to graduated after two years so they could go on to work or tech school, while the college-bound kids stayed on for one to two more years. Has anyone else heard of this plan?

  21. I would think a big problem is that 18 year olds are legally adults and 17 y.o.s are not. That would have an impact of dorms, etc.

    Also, as far as tension relief, I went to an all boys high school (no, I’m not gay) and everyone in my school seemed to get a better education that my friends in co-ed schools. Since I hung around the co-ed schools after my school got out so I could check out chicks, it’s no wonder i had a better education. How can someone consider and understand Adam Smith while the little hottie next to you is bending over for her pencil?

  22. This brings to mind many things about my recent highschool experience. The main thing I would like to point out is that it isn’t hard to graduate highschool in three years like I did, it just takes one or two extra classes and a minimum about motivation.

    Also two excellent quotes on the subject

    From my Dad “Highschool is just a holding pen for kids to get through puberty befor college”

    From some kid in my highschool annual “Don’t let school get in the way of your education.”


  23. Actually, Marr seemed to like the whole idea- not just eliminting 12th grade, but adding a year of preschool. He thought it better the government get their hands on kids younger, so as to avoid the influence of “the all-pervasive media.” Fuck that! My kid’s staying at home and reading Reason until the social workers come with a battering ram to take him away.

  24. You’d have to be nuts to think that spending the day in preschool is worse for a kid than spending it watching TV.

  25. joe,

    That depends on what he’s watching. When I was 5, (before cable TV), the local PBS station showed TV college courses in the late mornings/afternoons and those shows were way more interesting to me than the soap operas my mom watched. And also more intersting than anything I was subjected to months later in first grade.

  26. Fair enough, Wexler. OK: I like the first half of the proposal. Extra preschool I’m a bit less crazy about.

    What I like about Marr’s piece is that he defends the elimination of the twelfth grade on its own terms, rather than treating it as an unfortunate trade-off. The fact that he goes on to endorse the rest of the idea is regrettable, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

  27. hiya im a senior and our senior skip day is so stupid it is in febuary and there is no where to go

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