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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Early outs

This is an interesting idea. I suspect so few students will take advantage of it that some of the potential negative results (such as the schools losing the funding) won't be much of a problem:

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is proposing a three-year graduation plan, with a reward for those who speed thru their secondary education.

"He proposed that for someone who graduates (from high school) in three years, they can have the fourth year of funding to offset their college expenses," said EVSC Superintendent Dr. Vince Bertram.

The state currently gives school systems nearly $6,000 per student per year.

A lot of students tend to coast in their senior year anyway, especially in the last half, so why not encourage the ones headed for college anyway to skip the last year? But I wonder how many of the ones who go for it will look back later in life and decide they jumped out of their last safe haven -- where they can sort of act like adults but don't have the responsibilities yet -- a year before they needed to?


Kevin Knuth
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 10:53am

I have mixed feelings too- but I think some kids WOULD benefit- and life is about making choices.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:09pm

I finished college a semester early, not because I enjoyed being a grind, but because the school was expensive and my parents were paying for it.
I'm in favor of any plan that lets kids finish early, if they can do the schoolwork.

Andrew J.
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:52pm

I did my undergraduate and Master's degree in a span of five years; I finished my undergrad requirements in about 3.5 years, then started grad school with a summer thrown in and then a full year to finish up for a total of five. Was chomping at the bit to conquer the world, so didn't want any delay.

William Larsen
Tue, 09/14/2010 - 9:44pm

I think this is a bad idea. Paul Harding High School opened in 1973 and was designed on the basis of independent study. The student could fly through the subject material, take a test and go onto the next chapter. Students both smart and slow liked and disliked this method of teaching/learning. A survey I took of those who were in Harding (after I graduated) in 1976 clearly showed those going to college preferred traditional where as those who were not going to college preferred independent study. Before the five year duration of the experiment was up, the EACS no longer forced students into this experiment.

In my first year at IPFW many of my professors noticed a large number of students (Harding Graduates) who had definite problems in subjects like, math, biology, chemistry, etc.

After years of studying different learning concepts, I have come to the conclusion that the studies by two German psycholologist more than 100 years ago were correct. It is not the amount of time that passes the causes people to forget, rather the amount of information being presented is the culprit. In simple terms, if you try to fill a once cup capacity glass of water using a quart container, you are going to have a lot of excess water. The brain cannot absorb the information and retain it. The other concept was that the more associations made with a given concept/memory, the more likely that concept/memory will be retained.

Graduating in three years reduces the the number of associations we have on given material. This would lead me to believe that there will be many who will do well in school, graduate only to fail in college, the same as happened with many from the Harding classes of "75, '76 and '77.

To succeed in college you need good study habits, good back ground in basic math, english and science. I just do not see the normal college bound student succeeding in just three years of high school.

It may also open the door for Home schoolers to seek $6,000 towards their college tuition as well.