New Mexico Considers Forcing High-School Students into State-Approved Post-Graduation Plans

Want to go straight into the job market? No diploma for you.


Zimmytws /

At least two New Mexico lawmakers don't want students to be able to collect a high school diploma unless they have a state-approved post-graduation plan.

To be clear, the students can't simply tell their school counselors what their plans are. The bill—HB23, introduced by Nate Gentry, a Republican, and Daniel Ivey-Soto, a Democrat—gives teens a small menu of approved choices. To get their diplomas, students have to commit to one of the following:

  • Attending college (either four-year or two-year)
  • Participating in a trade or vocational program
  • Getting an internship or apprenticeship
  • Military service

Note the gigantic, important option missing: getting a job. The original draft of the legislation did include that among the choices, but it's been crossed out in the current version. Chicago recently implemented a similar program, but that one included a job offer among the government-approved futures.

In an interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Gentry made it clear that the purpose of this bill is try to get more students to go to college. "This is a politically easy thing to move the needle," he said.

Let's just set aside for a moment (just a moment) that high school seniors are not the property of the State of New Mexico, and it's morally repugnant for them to withhold a diploma just because someone won't comply with a list of government-approved futures. There are other problems here too. New Mexico already has the second-worst high school graduation rate in the country, at 71 percent. Certainly another barrier to graduation is not going to help.

And no, the proposal doesn't provide a way to cover costs for low-income students essentially being forced to apply to college in order to earn their high school diploma. Nor do the legislation's sponsors seem to care whether students are able to succeed in college or even have access to the apprenticeships the bill mentions. A legislative analysis warns that the plan

requires students to apply to college, but does not address college-readiness or completion. It is imperative to ensure students are prepared for success as 39.1 percent of New Mexico high school graduates (graduated in FY16) enrolled in remedial coursework as first time freshman at New Mexico public postsecondary institutions….

HB23 does not address the quality or availability of internships and apprenticeships available to high school graduates. Apprenticeships are most often part of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, and may only be available to select students who took CTE dual credit coursework that articulated into a certificate or degree.

More than a third of New Mexico high school students arrive at college unprepared and unable to actually take college-level classes. Perhaps the state's schools would be better off focusing on teaching students what they need to know to survive in college. Let the families figure out the best way forward.

One rationale the bill's sponsors offer for their plan is an estimate that by 2020, two thirds of all jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education. That's a strange explanation for a couple of reasons. First of all, if students are able to get a job with just a high school diploma, this proposal will not let them. Essentially, it's telling students that they aren't allowed to pursue those jobs that don't require postsecondary education.

Second, let's not forget one big reason we've seen a dramatic increase in postsecondary education requirements in order to hold a job: occupational licensing. The same government that wants to force students into postsecondary education is also creating legal barriers to keep people from getting jobs unless they get that additional training. The consequences are bad for the economy and for the poor. Just this week, there was an absolutely crazy fight in Arizona where cosmetologists are trying to defend a licensing regime that requires more than 1,000 hours of training to get state permission to blow-dry somebody's hair.

But absurdly strict licensing mandates apparently aren't enough for some people. Now they want to add another barrier before New Mexicans can even earn their high school diplomas. That's grotesque. And it's self-serving, because it forces people to fork even more money over to educators just to get permission to make a living.

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  1. Now why do they want kids to go to college? A concern about those kid’s futures? Nope. Money. More specifically the budget for the state’s schools.

    I was on the faculty at a state university. We loved the kids who were in school for one year before they flunked out and found a real job (often in a skilled job like an electrician, plumbing, chef, etc. where they earned at least as much as they would have with some degrees.) Those courses are taught by graduate students or adjuncts and the kids are charged full tuition. They are wonderful for the budget.

    The problem in America is not that too few people go to college, but rather that too many do. There are people who simply do not have the ability and/or temperament to do academics in the same way that I can’t hammer a nail or catch a football.

    1. I loathed college. It was a massive waste of money. After a single Final Four appearance my bottom-barrel state school went from being the cheapest public school in the state to the most expensive in 5 semesters. $2.8k to $7.5k a semester. I did 2+2. I got a far superior education in community college for $1.5k a semester, but I wasn’t eligible for any scholarships and only minor grants since I was in my junior year before I needed financial aid.

      My school hired professors for research, and they didn’t have a shred of respect for undergraduates. They’d show up 15 mins late for a 50 minute class wearing sweatpants. They wouldn’t do anything when kids pulled out their phones and blatantly cheated. During my senior year, one of the few good professors was telling me that ABET was considering revoking our certification, which would make my degree worthless. I graduated with the accreditation in place, but any future revocation will shame me. Already I’ve had recruiters tell me that if they had two identical candidates from my school and any other school, they’d pick the latter.

      But we have a new $175million training and lounge facility for all 50 members of the basketball team with a 100-person hot tub, so that’s just great.

      I can’t speak ill enough of university.

      Community college? Maybe I got lucky, but since the professors don’t have research most of them actually want to teach.

      1. I spent two years in community college on an engineering track and was ahead of the four year students when I transferred to a state university. Just like you, I can’t begin to detail all the horrible things wrong with the state university.

        I keep advising my high school age son to do the same thing, but his public school counselors are all in on him going directly to the university.

        What a scummy racket…

        1. I did something similar and I actually liked the state school I went to. Except the core classes of course. That was pure leftist propaganda. But the math, physics and computer science classes were great. They prepared me well.

          1. I had a handful of very good professors, mostly ones that had retired from a private-sector job and taught classes “for funsies,” as one of the more eclectic ones would say.

            I experienced essentially no liberal indoctrination after high school because I didn’t have to take many gen eds; I actually think the only one was Spanish because my CC didn’t have Latin, so my HS credits wouldn’t transfer. My high school pushed AP classes like the building was going to explode if everyone didn’t have 60 college credits at graduation (larger federal subsidies for greater AP enrollment). I’m poor and hate school, so wiggling out of all my gen eds was alright with me.

            In STEM classes I mostly just encountered professorial incompetence and indifference. My libertarian friend who was in the anthropology program at my school, however, had a very different experience. She attempted to speak out against group-think, and in a showing of absolute ignorance and irony, she was shouted down by everyone else in the class, including the professor. Madness. What a monster to suggest something as evil as independent thought!

        2. Other former-CC students feeding into our program were enormously more competent than our 4-year peers. Actually, we had a very well-respected professor for heat transfer, the toughest class in our curriculum. We were going over a difficult problem that utilized variable-coefficient differential equations, which aren’t always taught in math. There were 4 of us from 4 different CCs, and we were the only 4 people in that room that knew how to solve this problem. He had a similar experience in the other section of the class.

          He was livid. He wrote a letter to the math department explaining how shameful it is that every CC student had gotten a superior education to every university student.

          Starting the very next semester they taught variable-coefficient diffeqs. It’s just one single instance of a total cultural failure, though.

          In particular the CCs attracted ex-military and homeschooled students, and both groups are more disciplined than on-campus uni students, so that might be a confounding factor. I also had never even heard of a solutions manual at CC. No culture of cheating whatsoever. It’s absolutely rampant at uni, which is terrifying in my profession. People could actually die.

          1. This is making me feel a lot better about teaching (bio & chem) at a community col. as I do now than at a 4-yr. col. as I used to. I notice a much higher ratio of major-track sci. courses, w commensurate enrollment, to intro level, non-major courses, at Sussex Co. (NJ) CC than I did at Mercy C in NY. It’s interesting to see so many majors declared by frosh at a 2-yr. school, when so many would be undeclared at a 4-yr. one. However, one untoward effect at this CC is a lot of chickenshit directed at “goals”?fairly lofty ones “met” in token, unrealistic ways. Part of the reason they’re unrealistic is safety rules, i.e. the lawyers.

            1. I have a theory about why this is happening. A lot of universities won’t transfer credits from community colleges. Ostensibly this is because they’re afraid that students will be unprepared for the uni courses due to differing curricula, etc. My 4-year was very obstinate about accepting my CC credits; it was a heck of a fight with the first students transferring having to take tests and all kinds of nonsense. In the case of my school, the reason was pettiness. As another commenter said, the 100, 200-level courses are often taught by graduate students, so they’re good money.

              Ergo, CC students have to contact university transfer personnel and see if the classes available at the 2-year school will transfer to the 4-year school and apply toward the major that they’re considering. My state even guarantees 2-year to 4-year transfers from any CC to any state school, but the latter wiggles out of it with all sorts of little exceptions. Being undeclared at a CC might be a liability if one is planning to attend a university.

              My CC also had some arbitrary reqs. Every degree or certificate required taking a ‘college success skills’ class, which was mostly nonsense where we learned our Myers-Briggs type indicator and talked about how to be organized. Likely, this is an attempt to increase the graduation rate of CCs so they can increase confidence in their coursework. I think a lot of the hesitancy to accept CC credits is economic, however.

        3. That’s when you go to the school and smack around the “counselors.”

      2. A lot of students have no business being in college/university.

        That’s what my degree taught me.

      3. My community college was also better than the local university. To give an example: the most popular econ instructor at the CC used to reference Thomas Sowell. The most popular econ professor at the university was an avowed socialist.

        1. I’ve heard similar experiences. One of my buddies’ fiance is a senior econ major at my alma mater, and she had not been taught a single lesson from the Austrian school. Only Keynesian, and incomplete Keynesian at that. So much of the current econ narrative excludes Keynes’ assertion that humans can nudge the market and inject artificial stimulation to stave off [not resolve, an important distinction] a recession, but he cautions that it is hubris of the highest caliber to think that one can even control 1% of the living system that is capitalism.

          He was also very firm that the government spending packages should be repaid immediately upon economic recovery.

          I still deeply disagree with his theories, but they are politically convenient, especially when one conveniently ignores the wisdom that Keynes had learned from his own failed attempts at mastering the market early in his career.

          Print money! Buy votes! Prop up crony capitalist businesses like failing automakers! Obama saved the economy!

          Also Thomas Sowell is clearly demented because of his religious views. He absolutely has to be wrong about everything ever because he postulated that the pyramids were built to hold grains. i heard it on CNN; it must be true.

      4. I went to community college for some high school courses and then went to a four-year college (one that’s pretty well-regarded as far as colleges go; ranks high in the college rankings and has a bunch of rich kids attend).

        I got a better education at the community college.

        So yes, I would say that community colleges are better.

        1. I was thinking that it was just the inferiority of my university, but I’m hearing a lot of people who’ve had the same experience. Maybe it’s that those of us who chose to utilize the relatively cheaper community colleges to do gen eds are a little more forward-thinking?

          I was teased a bit for not going to a university by my peers who were looking for a dorms-and-drinking experience. I do think that it’s important to refine social skills in college, but I was more interested in the education that I was paying absolute boatloads of money to receive.

  2. I seriously wish this was a joke.

    It’s not going to pass, right?


    1. “My plans are to start my own religion, and gather followers.”
      Would that qualify?

      “My plans are to become a Scientology slave.” Would that qualify?

      “My plans are to become a Satanic Priest. I am taking internet lessons.” Would that qualify?

      “My plans are to enlist, as you say, but it is in the North Korean Army.” Would that qualify?

      “My plans are to become a founder-follower of a new intellectual and personal non-religious rational movement, where we follow our own free will, and our own free will alone, while respecting the free will of others.” Would that qualify?

      Or is the ***ONLY*** acceptable answer, “I will find a NEW Master, who YOU find acceptable, and follow Him or Her or It. I agree that just following my own free will alone, us NOT acceptable.”

      1. “Well, I have had severe mental problems during High School, but managed to graduate anyway. After High School, I am admitted to a 1-year intense (but expensive!) therapy program, administered by a fully degreed-credentialled-licensed facility, which my wealthy parents will pay for.”

        Educrats would probably fall all over themselves to “accomodate”, in a politically correct manner.

        “Well, I have had severe mental problems during High School, but managed to graduate anyway. After High School, I am going to go to live on a remote farm, with a highly respected Uncle of mine, who has no fancy degrees, but all my family, his Church, and his neighbors and friends all agree, he is a very wise and compassionate friend and advisor to all. He will pay me room and board, and we will discuss my troubles half the time, and shovel cow poop and feed the animals, the other half of the time.”

        Probably no dice on that one? Even if the Uncle does a MUCH better job than the shrinks!!!

        Ya see the problems here, right? Or do I need to make a longer speech?

        1. Not at all, preach friend. At this point I don’t think it can be disputed that education is essentially liberal indoctrination. I don’t think that it’s an organized conspiracy; I think that academia just attracts liberal people, and Democrats promise educators more goodies, and thus it is in their best interests to create future Dems.

          i.e. As a student I was sent home with a yearly report about the per-capita spending of our school system compared with neighboring localities. My county was by far the best and cheapest in the area. They graduated 90% for $8k a head while the nearby city spent $20k to push through 50%. In middle school I had two opportunistic teachers postulate that parents wouldn’t really understand the report, so they attached a memo of their own recommending that folks vote for the Democrat in the upcoming election to “increase education funding and teacher salaries.”

          My mother absolutely exploded. After 20 years in a (pretty good) private-sector job she earned about as much as a 2nd year teacher in our locality, but more than that it’s exceedingly uncouth to beg for money by endorsing a specific candidate through one’s students. The county was quietly conservative (not anymore .. but that’s a whole ‘nother rant), so it’s reasonable that even a long-time resident wouldn’t have a good pulse on the political climate. I’m still in awe of their cringe-worthy behavior. Neither fired or ostensibly even disciplined, because reasons.

        2. Funny you should bring up the manual labor as a potential future for the mentally interesting high school graduate. It isn’t true for everyone, but there’s no greater cure for my mental problems than menial labor. Not working out at a gym or such, actual hard work with tangible results. I paid my way through community college pushing carts and slinging mulch and cement at the local hardware store. I lost 80lbs, got a great tan, and a decade later it’s still the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Minimum wage. A liberal acquaintance of mine said that telling this to folks is a, “backward [insensitive] bootstraps narrative.” Alrighty then.

          1. “Chop Wood, Carry Water”, said the Buddhist monks. Menial labor is good for the body, soul, and mind. The proggies can kiss my ass about that whole topic!

            ANY productive labor is ennobling, uplifting! All laborers deserve our respect. Too many of us are all hung up on “status”… Very clearly, this includes proggies…

  3. Back in the ’80s, you couldn’t graduate from high school in San Diego unless you had x number of hours working a real job.

    I started a business out of high school. Why isn’t that one of the choices?

    1. Lefties hate entrepreneurs.

      1. Lefties hate entrepreneurs because they tend to be successful. And in their cemented petty minds, a successful person means one less shot at success for themselves.

        It’s all settled see?

        1. Plus, profit=evil.

          1. Yes, a PRIME principal of progressivism is, money moved by private, willing buyers and sellers is EVIL, while money moved around by the Sacred Force and Power of Government Almighty, is GOOD!

    2. “I started a business out of high school. Why isn’t that one of the choices?”

      That gag-inducing crap about ‘giving back’ never seems to include starting a business and actually adding to the wealth of mankind.

      1. When profits are considered to be theft, starting a business is taking from society. That’s why businesses must give back. Because by providing goods, services, and jobs, they’re stealing from the community.

  4. Note the gigantic, important option missing: getting a job.

    How about running to replace either of these two statist assholes.

  5. Well I’m not opposed to this idea in principle. It’s just another graduation requirement, just like having to take algebra or gym class. But of course the list of options should include employment.

    1. High schools are there to teach high school level course not withhold your diploma for not getting their okay on you future.

      As with ObamaCare, this type of government force is not authorized in the Constitution, therefore unconstitutional.

      1. LC, this has nothing to do with the US Constitution. This is about what the state constitution says and what the state government wants.

        High schools are there to teach high school level course not withhold your diploma for not getting their okay on you future.

        Who says?

        1. “Who says?”
          Only freedom loving people.

          1. A big downside of state-run schools is that they must appeal to the mob (the voters), instead of its customers (the parents), for their continued existence and sustenance.

            So if a public school in an ultra-left-wing area of the country decides that its curriculum should focus on Social Justice and Antifa Studies, because that’s what the voters want, then there really isn’t much that can be done to prevent that. Because good luck trying to outvote them.

            1. I think this is a cogent argument. As long as they don’t mandate all this ridiculous mess and that you send your kid to public school in lieu of private/home school, I don’t know that it has a constitutional basis on which to stand. It’s how I lean on (school) mandated vaccines, too. Many states are trying to do away with religious exemptions, and many parents are simply responding by not sending their kids to public schools. It’s somewhat more complex than that, but I think the massive popularity of vaccination will render any esoteric counterarguments moot.

        2. chemjeff is for the only liberty which can be a serious thing, the liberty of the state and of the individual in the state. Therefore for chemjeff, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state.

          1. This is a deliberate slander, by an unserious poster who only seeks to try to score points rather than discuss issues on their merits. There is absolutely zero basis for your claim, except your hatred of me.

    2. Up next, a list of things and persons you agree to vote for. A list of products you agree not to buy. Political parties you agree to join. The possibilities are endless.

    3. So you think that by forcing someone in a public school to some honor code will improve their lot in life? How many kids will just quit would be my concern. Sure, you say that they surely would just commit to something they have no intention of fulfilling, and that may be true in some cases. However, it is also likely faced with the stress of even more responsibility many would just give up. That’s more true of those kids with less certain futures.

      Why not just let people live their lives without you salivating over how to compete with some other countries statistics on higher education?

      1. “Why not just let people live their lives without you salivating over how to compete with some other countries statistics on higher education?”

        I never said anywhere that I thought the state, or a school, or anyone else, should force individuals to live their lives in a particular way. If people want to waste their educations, then they should have every right to do so. I also believe that school counselors, and school administrators generally, should try to counsel students out of making poor choices. Wouldn’t you agree?

    4. Well, I’m against it in principle.

      Its not the state’s place – not even a regular old state – to tell people how they will live their lives. Honestly, if this is the sort of thing that’s ok with you if they added ’employment’, are you really libertarian?

      What about ‘mucking about in Indonesia for a year or two’? or ‘blasting my consciousness with hashish until it bleeds’? Yeah, those aren’t choices people *should* take, but they should be free to take them.

      1. “Blasting my consciousness with hashish until it bleeds” is basically what you do if you sign up for an English degree, so yeah, it’s definitely on their list of approved options.

      2. I agree that people should be free to make whatever choice they wish consistent with the NAP.

        I also believe that a school counselor should try to counsel people out of making poor choices.

        The problem is that in the case of public schools, the school counselor is an agent of the state, not that the counselor is making recommendations.

        1. How does this

          I agree that people should be free to make whatever choice they wish consistent with the NAP.

          square with this?

          Well I’m not opposed to this idea in principle.

          When the point of the thing is that these people are *not* free to make whatever choice they wish consistent with the NAP.

          1. When I wrote “people”, I was writing loosely. Strictly, that should be “adult citizens who have reached the age of majority”. For minors, of course the situation is different. They are going to be subject to the rules of others, such as their parents and their teachers. That would be the case even in Libertopia. Once these students become adult citizens, then they should be free to do whatever they wish, regardless of any plan that they might have written for a highschool graduation requirement. But while they are not yet full adults, then I think a proper role for the schools (and their parents) are to give advice on what wise courses of action might be. The problem is that because the schools are run by the state, the school counselors are agents of the state, and so school administrators imposing requirements on students smells a lot like unwanted state coercion. The IDEAL situation would be for all schools to be privately run.

    5. What if you want to start your own business, or tour the world, or join the Peace Corps, or join a rock band? How is it the government’s business to discourage you from doing these things?

      Nice to see you’re keeping the unlibertarian position streak alive. Though this isn’t even a leftist position, just a plain authoritarian one, so maybe I was wrong about you.

      1. Yeah, the list of options should be much larger, I agree with that.

        “How is it the government’s business to discourage you from doing these things?”

        It shouldn’t be the government’s business. It should be a proper school’s business to encourage students to make wise choices, and discourage them from making poor choices. That is part of the point of getting an education.

        The real problem arises because the government runs the schools.

    6. I might be ok with saying the kids have to meet with the counselor to make a plan, but the plan should be definitely by the student and parents. No list of options.

      1. That is probably a better way, to be honest.

      2. This is how I was counseled ~ a decade ago. We had to submit official after-school plans, but they weren’t binding in any way, and we were encouraged to discuss them with our friends.

        That being said, it was implicitly understood that we were to attend a 4-year school and possibly graduate school to appease our counselors. Military recruiters came to our school around this time, and there was actual contention about whether that should be allowed. They tried to argue that the free USMC keychains and stuff were enticing kids who otherwise wouldn’t chose the armed forces.

        I was discouraged from doing two years of community college before university because of concerns about education quality, continuity of instruction, and lack of social skills development without an on-campus party culture. My school was comprised of very wealthy families, so poor folk like me were rare, and many of the kids who went to CC were the drop-out types. Because heaven forbid somebody not get a college degree. It’ll affect their Blue Ribbon status (from ten years prior…) that they so adore.

  6. Note the gigantic, important option missing: getting a job.

    Perhaps they are implicitly admitting that minimum wage is so high that someone straight out of high school can’t get a job, and would end up on social assistance.

    1. While I was in high school I worked fast food because it was the only job I could find that would hire someone without any experience. Now I never see high school kids working in fast food. I wonder how much the ten dollar minimum wage has to do with it.

      1. Plus, the government covers nearly all of their college tab in the form of a loan.

        Kids don’t have to work to save up for college or their futures and they won’t. Then after years of their substandard college educations not getting them a CEO job, they are up to ass in debt and stupid as before.

        Meanwhile lefties who set up these scams laugh all the way to the bank.

        1. Or they learn from the mistakes of others, study something that gets them a decent paying job, and pay off loans for the rest of their lives. At least that’s what I did.

          1. Ditto. We’re a relative rarity, however. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t really want to rack up tons of debt to live on campus at a big school and party all the time. My mom talked me out of it, and I’m grateful, but i was an idiot when I was 18.

            Incidentally, when I applied for federal financial aid I had to take a quiz that confirmed my knowledge that loans had to be repaid, and I had to sign it with my initials on threat of legal action if I’d lied or cheated. 18-year-olds who’ve never worked can have no concept of how much money 30,40,50 grand is, and it seems some of my peers who’ve racked up that kind of debt applied for financial aid through their HS or university and were not made to understand the difference between scholarships, grants, and loans.

      2. Pressure from the neighbors is a factor. Schools are no longer designed to prepare kids for life. They are designed to graduate kids into a path that middle class families admire so that the school district can brag and raise the property values. Most middle class parents in my county would rather have a kid diagnosed with a mental illness than a kid who works at a fast food restaurant.

  7. Um…

    Fuck these slavers directly in the neck!

  8. And what the hell happened to vocational training in high school? It was pretty much phased out by the time I got to high school in the late 80s, but in her senior year of high school, my mom worked at the telephone company for half the day. Or you could work as an auto mechanic half the day, or in some other random vocation. This should be a thing again, but I guess it would be competition for anyone who wants to get paid to do those jobs.

    1. Snobbery is what happened. Vocational training is for children of poor kids. But when everyone can get student loans, everyone can go to college. When everyone can go to college, why do vocational training like poor kids. Leave that for the stupid kids who couldn’t get into college even with student loans. In fact, why bother? They’re just losers anyway.

      1. “Unions, General; don’t forget the unions . . . . “

  9. This bill is too generous. Denying them a diploma? Anyone in the US who doesn’t obtain a four year college degree by age 25 ought to be deported back to whatever country their ancestors came from. We can’t afford, as a society, to keep providing a home to losers who don’t make our country better. Instead we should only be allowing the best people to stay as citizens.

    1. Try harder. That was even more stupid than you intended.

    2. Lol. That’s some good sarcasm.

    3. Speaking of deportations, the feds deported an Israeli Jew who works with medical marijuana facilities. Will left-wingers count him as “white”, “Asian”, or “Middle Eastern” when they check the deportation tally for signs of racism?

    4. I know, right? Look at how many New Mexicans don’t even have a college degree! Why would we want to import so many of these people into our society???

  10. And what about the Michael Dell (yes, that Dell) solution? Starting your own business? Tell ’em to fugg off, it’s none of the looters’ business.

    1. He started college and dropped out. Clearly his two semesters at UT were needed.

  11. Nothing to see here. Move along, people.

    Still Shillin’ for Jill 2020 approves this message.

  12. Nothing says freedom like force.

    More than a third of New Mexico high school students arrive at college unprepared and unable to actually take college-level classes

    Which is why college is not for everyone. And why grade-school needs to be privatized. Pay for your own kids education and let competition make education better.

  13. Nope. No unintended consequences on the horizon. Nosireebob.

  14. Oh, waah, waah, waah, cry me a river. Why shouldn’t these people have some duties and responsibilities placed on them when they come to this country? They should be just as free as US citizens? And what’s with this “New Mexican” shit? They’re illegal immigrants, call them what they are! It’s just this left-wing PC crap where you’re not allowed to use perfectly factual and adequate words but instead use some euphemism like “New Mexican” like they’re actual real Americans. God, you open-borders people make me sick – next you’ll be demanding they should have the right to vote and their own representatives in Congress.

    1. Jerryskids|2.3.18 @ 3:16PM|#
      “Oh, waah, waah, waah, cry me a river. Why shouldn’t these people have some duties and responsibilities placed on them when they come to this country?”

      I’m guessing that’s sarcasm, as stupidity at that level is hard to find.

      1. It was stupid sarcasm.

    2. Well, there is talk in England about lowering the voting age to 16.

      1. Dear lord, I hope no stirrings of that happen on this side of the Atlantic. A libertarian mentor of mine is salty about the voting age being lowered to 18, and she was one of the liberals advocating for the 26th the 70s! Idealistic kids who’ve never worked a day in their lives are perfect Democrats, although with the ubiquity of college I’m not sure raising it back to 21 would do a bit of good in producing better-informed voters.

  15. Can’t students just “commit” to one of the choices and then blow it off after they get the diploma?

    Can they rescind your diploma if you don’t comply? Will they have an administrator in charge of post graduation compliance?

    1. You’re going to have to show an acceptance letter for a college or your contract for DEP for the military, etc.

      You’ll have to have that paperwork in hand before you get your diploma.

      1. I wonder if CC is banned under this regime.

        1. They said 2 year colleges are OK.

      2. Looking at the text of the bill, it looks like the only requirement is that the student apply to a college, not be accepted. Certainly nothing about rescinding diplomas after the fact.

  16. Another missing option:
    “I am going to assume command of my militia unit and take over this shithole state”.
    And you, my dear, are headed for the wall. (No, not Trumps)

  17. If the richest man on the planet didn’t need a college degree why does anyone else?

    1. New Mexico wants to close the French literature and print making degree gap.

  18. Student loan bubble and availability of online non-college learning is causing younguns to rethink whether college is worth it. Leftists need to keep fresh meat coming into their indoctrination camps.

  19. LOL I love all these comments on how I am supposedly some authoritarian shill because I don’t think it’s a bad idea *in principle* that students should have some plan for life after highschool as a graduation requirement. (I disagree with the particulars of the NM plan and I said so from the outset.) I am the guy who doesn’t even think that there ought to be publicly-run schools in the first place. In my view all schools should be private, and any goal (if any!) for universal education should be met with vouchers for parents to choose which private school to send their kid to.

    So if I were a superintendent of a *private* highschool, I would absolutely consider requiring some type of plan like this as a graduation requirement. And if I were a parent choosing among different *private* highschools to which to send my child, I would absolutely look at how a highschool prepares students for life after graduation, as one factor among many to guide my decision. And you know what? SO WOULD ALL OF YOU. So spare me your phony-baloney outrage.

    1. The problem only arises in this context because government runs the schools. Absent the school environment, should the state be demanding citizens to come up with a plan for how to live their lives? OF COURSE NOT. But in my view, a highschool should. The real problem here is the mixing of education and state. We don’t want a state coercing the shit out of citizens. But we DO want a school to be imposing requirements on students, in order that they may learn and grow. And a school, run by the state, imposing these requirements, smells a lot like coercion. The way to resolve this contradiction is to separate education and state. That way, a school is free to act as coercive towards its students as its customers (the parents) permit, and there is no concern about an out-of-control government imposing tyranny on the land.

    2. We shouldn’t be supplying tax dollars for schools.

      Your kids, your wallet.

      1. And not even a private school should turn up its nose at post-graduation jobs.

        “(I disagree with the particulars of the NM plan and I said so from the outset.)…

        “So spare me your phony-baloney outrage.”

        I am outraged by the particulars of this plan which says that having a job lined up after you graduate isn’t enough to get them to cough up your diploma, because an unpaid internship or a phony-baloney college degree is deemed superior to an actual job.

        And like one guy noted, marriage to a spouse with a job would also be considered Not Good Enough in comparison to going into debt to get a woman’s studies degree.

        If you’re not outraged, your outrage threshold is too high.

  20. About 40 years ago, maybe longer, there was a court case where a high school was withholding diplomas for some odd reason (library fines?). The ultimate decision was that the diploma was the property of the student and neither the school district or anyone else had the right to deny the diploma to the student for any reason that didn’t pertain to passing the required curriculum.

    This seems like a similar enough situation where that precedent would apply.

    1. That’d probably be superseded by a state law setting forth such a requirement.

      I don’t see how a gov’t owes anyone a diploma any more than personal police & fire protection service when you need it. Sure, that’s what they’re supposedly organized for, but legally not so. It’s just freedom of the press. Nobody can negate the fact of one’s having completed school, just a matter of gov’t’s imprimatur for having done so. Seems to me a much lesser imposition than does gov’t’s requiring a diploma (or citizenship or green card) for permission to do certain jobs for a private party. Nothing says an employer who’s not in a licensed profession has to require a gov’t diploma rather than someone’s private say-so that you graduated.

  21. If I had a kid I’d start setting them up as a blacksmith & farrier. Seriously, there is a shortage of such people and they can make really good money at it.

    Hell, just shoeing horses, turning out overpriced knives, and restoring old tools can easily bring in a decent 5-figure income as a part time gig.

  22. I know it’s politically incorrect to consider the following as a legitimate outcome these days, but what if someone wants to be a stay-at-home spouse and let the other spouse earn the household’s income? That person can’t get a diploma? Preposterous! What about a person who wants to volunteer into Americorps or the Peace Corps?

  23. Having a job isn’t enough to get them to give you your degree – unless of course the job in question is in the military.

    A military job can be a useful one, but then, fixing people’s broken toilets can be a useful job, too. If you think I’m snarking against the military, you probably never had major plumbing problems.

  24. Looks like we’re going to need a bigger woodchipper.

    1. Solar powered, of course – – – –

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