Thursday, October 23, 2014

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Slate
October 22st, 2014


I did not enjoy high school. Chances are you did not either. So imagine, somewhere midway through your sophomore year, if your parents and teachers casually informed you that you’d now “get” to attend the 13th grade before leaving. If someone had pulled that crap on me in 1992, I would have set my room on fire.
Turns out, however, the 13th grade is not a half-bad idea when that “super senior” year also counts as a free first year of college—as it does in a few rural and exurban school districts in my home state of Oregon. For the students who participate in this optional fifth year, their transition to postsecondary education comes without tuition, but with substantial support and oversight—not only are they required to get periodic progress reports from every professor, every term, but sometimes the very classes they take are housed on that self-same familiar campus.

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