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What States and Nonprofits Are Doing to Encourage Early High School Graduation

Monday, February 27, 2012, 1 p.m. ET
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 What States and Nonprofits Are Doing to Encourage Early High School Graduation(02/27/2012) 
9:56
EdWeek Bryan: 
Good morning, folks, and welcome to today's chat, "What States and Nonprofits Are Doing to Encourage Early High School Graduation." The Lumina Foundation has provided the underwriting for the content of this chat.
Monday February 27, 2012 9:56 EdWeek Bryan
9:56
EdWeek Bryan: 
I've just opened the chat for questions, so please, start submitting yours below. We'll be back at 1 p.m. today with our guests Rep. Pat Garofalo and Marc Tucker. Hope to see you then.
Monday February 27, 2012 9:56 EdWeek Bryan
12:55
EdWeek Bryan: 
Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us for today's chat on early high school graduation, with underwriting provided by the Lumina Foundation. We'll get started in just a few minutes.

In the meantime, please keep submitting your questions below!
Monday February 27, 2012 12:55 EdWeek Bryan
12:58
EdWeek Bryan: 
I'm now passing control of the chat over to our moderator for the day, Caralee Adams. It's all yours, Caralee!
Monday February 27, 2012 12:58 EdWeek Bryan
1:00
Caralee Adams: 
Welcome to our discussion of early high school graduation. Thanks for joining us.

A handful of states are offering scholarships for students who finish high school ahead of time and others are considering legislation. Some nonprofits are piloting programs to get students on the fast-track to college early by ramping up curriculum.

With proper planning, can we do away with 12th grade? Or are we keeping our students from being as prepared as they can for college and careers by encouraging an early exit?

Today, we will discuss the issue with two guests who have been active on this front.

Our first guest is Marc Tucker, He is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington. Welcome Marc...
Monday February 27, 2012 1:00 Caralee Adams
1:01
Marc Tucker: 
Hello, Carallee!
Monday February 27, 2012 1:01 Marc Tucker
1:02
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks

We also have with us Pat Garofalo, a Republican State Representative from Minnesota who sponsored the Early Graduation Achievement Act that passed in the state legislature last year. Thank you for joining us, Representative Garofalo...
Monday February 27, 2012 1:02 Caralee Adams
1:02
Marc Tucker: 
Thanks for having me on your program. This is a subject very dear to my heart.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:02 Marc Tucker
1:02
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Thank you for having me as your guest.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:02 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:03
Caralee Adams: 
Let's get started....First, Rep. Garofalo, tell us about why you sponsored this legislation in Minnesota. Why is it important to you to incentivize early graduation?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:03 Caralee Adams
1:03
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
In Minnesota we passed the Early Graduation Achievement Act.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:03 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:03
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
This is a program to help kids pay for college.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:03 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:03
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Motivates kids to try harder.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:03 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:04
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
And encourages parental participation.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:04 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:04
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
When parents find out their kids can get a scholarship for graduating from high school early, they get very involved in motivating their kids!
Monday February 27, 2012 1:04 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:04
Caralee Adams: 
Your bill in Minnesota gives scholarship money not only for early high school graduates to go to college, but also to enter the military….Why was that an important component?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:04 Caralee Adams
1:05
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Enclosed is a link for some of the FAQ about the program. Scholarships range from $2,500 to $7,500

http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=041614&RevisionSelectionMethod=latestReleased&Rendition=primary
Monday February 27, 2012 1:05 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:05
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks for the link.

What kind of support did the legislation receive?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:05 Caralee Adams
1:05
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
The point of the program was to encourage kids to try harder. A high school diploma is NOT a certificate of attendance - but rather a benchmark of learning. Once that benchmark is reached, kids should have the option of moving on to college.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:05 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:06
Caralee Adams: 
How much is early high school graduation expected to save the state of Minnesota?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:06 Caralee Adams
1:06
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
The EGAA was strong bipartisan support.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:06 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:06
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Estimates are that it will save the state millions of dollars.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:06 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:07
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks....

Now to Marc for a look at what nonprofits are doing....

What are you hearing from schools that are piloting the new curriculum in the Excellence for All pilot schools…are students up for the rigor?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:07 Caralee Adams
1:07
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Of course some "establishment" groups dont like that the dollars are flowing to higher ed vs k12, but that is the kids choice, not government's.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:07 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:08
Marc Tucker: 
Yes, students are up for the rigor. The purpose of our program is very different from the one you just heard about. It is to greatly improve the performance of high schools students. As it stands. high school diplomas are no more than attendance certificates. We aim for much more
Monday February 27, 2012 1:08 Marc Tucker
1:09
Caralee Adams: 
Does the Excellence for All program require additional teacher training or districts more money?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:09 Caralee Adams
1:09
Marc Tucker: 
Excellence for all is built on our world wide research showing the strong high school instruciotnal programs make a big difference to high school performance. We are offering the most successful programs in the world.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:09 Marc Tucker
1:10
Marc Tucker: 
Excellence for All requires that the school invest in professional development so that the teahers can teach the courses well. It also involved the costs of purchasing the courses and the exams.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:10 Marc Tucker
1:11
Caralee Adams: 
So, in the program, students take an exit exam as sophomores...what percentage are expected to pass and percentage will opt to go on to community college?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:11 Caralee Adams
1:12
Marc Tucker: 
Students take exams at the end of their sophomore year. If they pass they can leave high school, get a diploma and go on to community college. They will not have to take remedical courses, because the pass points on the exams are set to the level of achievement needed to be successful in community college. We do not yet have a graduating class, so we do not know what the intitial success rate will be
Monday February 27, 2012 1:12 Marc Tucker
1:13
Caralee Adams: 
When will the pilot program have its first possible graduates?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:13 Caralee Adams
1:13
Marc Tucker: 
Two years from now.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:13 Marc Tucker
1:14
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks, Marc. Now on to some of our great questions....

Monday February 27, 2012 1:14 Caralee Adams
1:14
[Comment From Zeva RaeZeva Rae: ] 
I worry about children losing out on an additional year of social and mental development before heading to college. Do you think this will put a burden on college to employ more safeguards for young students?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:14 Zeva Rae
1:14
Caralee Adams: 
Marc....you want to answer that one?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:14 Caralee Adams
1:15
Marc Tucker: 
Our program is based on a high school structure used in many other countries with great success. I don't think they will miss out on anything.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:15 Marc Tucker
1:15
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks. Rep. Garofalo, how do you respond to Zeva's concern about possibly graduating before kids are mature enough?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:15 Caralee Adams
1:16
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
In Minnesota we dont require students to start college right away. So if a student and their parent decide they want to go to college right away, they can. Otherwise they have that option.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:16 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:16
[Comment From ReggieReggie: ] 
How do you think college admission officers will view an influx of early graduates?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:16 Reggie
1:16
Caralee Adams: 
Marc...
Monday February 27, 2012 1:16 Caralee Adams
1:18
Marc Tucker: 
In the states we are in, the community colleges are very excited about this program. More than half of the students going to our community colleges need remedial courses, and most who take them do not succeed in college. Our program offers them students who are ready to succeed in that environment. That would be a great relief to them. That's what they have told us.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:18 Marc Tucker
1:18
[Comment From CourtneyCourtney: ] 
This question is for Marc -- At what year/grade level does your program start to serve students?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:18 Courtney
1:20
Marc Tucker: 
I t starts to serve them as soon as they arrive in high school. For students who are ready for our program, they dive right in to a demanind high quality high school program. Those who are not ready get special additional helpso they can beneift form this program. Our idea is make sure that all kids can be made ready for college, wherever they begin high school.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:20 Marc Tucker
1:20
[Comment From CourtneyCourtney: ] 
This question is for Marc - does your program offer any supports that speak to other areas of development and not just academic?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:20 Courtney
1:22
Marc Tucker: 
Students who are not ready for our program may need help of many different kinds, not just academic. We would with our high schools to make sure they get the help they need. But our program is not sealed off from the regular hgh school. So all ids in the program have access to the full range of high school resources
Monday February 27, 2012 1:22 Marc Tucker
1:22
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks, Marc....now some questions about Minn.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:22 Caralee Adams
1:22
[Comment From Brad BucklesBrad Buckles: ] 
What kind of research has been done on the success after high school of students graduating early? Is Minnesota planning to add an evaluative component to track the program's success?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:22 Brad Buckles
1:24
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Minnesota has a program called PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Options) which allows students to take college courses for high school credit while they are still in high school. This has been a VERY successful program and is quite popular in Minnesota. I expect the EGAA will have similar results. Ultimately the feedback will come from parents and students. That will be the best evaluator of it's success.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:24 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:24
Caralee Adams: 
Another along those lines..
Monday February 27, 2012 1:24 Caralee Adams
1:24
[Comment From Rashida GovanRashida Govan: ] 
What empirical evidence supports the move towards early graduation? Or is the objective of early graduation to save money?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:24 Rashida Govan
1:26
Caralee Adams: 
Is saving money the driver in Minn., Patrick?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:26 Caralee Adams
1:26
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
The EGAA does save money and we are always looking to provide better value for the taxpayer. However, the primary motiviation is to incentivize students to choice more rigorous course content. If they have met the standards of graduation, they should continue to move forward - not waste the last year or semester of their high school experience.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:26 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:27
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks. Another one.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:27 Caralee Adams
1:27
[Comment From CourtneyCourtney: ] 
This question is for Representative Patrick Garofalo -- how many credits are needed to successfully graduate high school? Also, do the core courses needed for graduation align with admission to universities, at least at the state level?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:27 Courtney
1:29
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
There is no limitation on using these scholarships for only Minnesota based universities. Given that flexibility, it is difficult to do one nationwide assessment of whether these courses aligh with admission to universities nationwide. That being said, Minnesota has some of the highest college entrance exam (ACT/SAT) scores in the nationwide. Given that fact, we feel that our courses do align with admission standards.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:29 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:29
Marc Tucker: 
On the last question, it is very important to understand that graduating from high school is a ticket to a very difficult life in the United States today. Without at least two years of college, one is condemned to a life of poverty or very close to it. We must aim for more that.

Monday February 27, 2012 1:29 Marc Tucker
1:29
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Very good point by Mr. Tucker.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:29 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:30
Caralee Adams: 
Lots of research along those lines....
Monday February 27, 2012 1:30 Caralee Adams
1:30
Caralee Adams: 
Another question...
Monday February 27, 2012 1:30 Caralee Adams
1:30
[Comment From Bill Heuer - MHLABill Heuer - MHLA: ] 
Many homeschoolers already utilize Community College courses during their high school years to get a jump on life and are able to complete college in less than 4 years. Wouldn't this concept integrate nicely with early high school graduation in public schools to save $$ in both the community as well as for the student facing increasing college loan debt? What is the big problem with "testing out" once a student has mastered the subject matter?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:30 Bill Heuer - MHLA
1:30
Caralee Adams: 
Either of you are welcome to respond to Bill...
Monday February 27, 2012 1:30 Caralee Adams
1:30
EdWeek Bryan: 
Hi folks, just jumping in for a sec... for those who want more on this topic, check out the article Caralee wrote a few weeks back: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/01/25/18graduation_ep.h31.html
Monday February 27, 2012 1:30 EdWeek Bryan
1:31
Marc Tucker: 
The great tragedy of American education is the terrible failure rate in our community colleges. That is where the majority of Americans go to college. Excellence for All is designed to greatly change that. That may be the most important thing we can do for American students.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:31 Marc Tucker
1:33
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
I think a big problem right now is that the education system can - sometimes - focus on insulating itself from competition. The focus should not be on who/where money is spent, but rather on which option is best for the student. There is a strong movement towards this nationwide and I expect this trend to accelerate in the coming years. The creation of digital content for learning is exploding. It is a great time to be in education!
Monday February 27, 2012 1:33 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:34
Caralee Adams: 
Back for some detail on the pilot Excellence for All....
Monday February 27, 2012 1:34 Caralee Adams
1:34
[Comment From Elisabeth PiffElisabeth Piff: ] 
Thnak you all for providing this forum. I have never particpated in one of these types of chat events before, so please forgive me if I am jumping the gun. I see there is currently a pilot program going on in 4 states dealing with the Excellence for All program. How long is that pilot study intended to last? Will additional schools be added during the pilot?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:34 Elisabeth Piff
1:34
Marc Tucker: 
By the way, students who successfully compete our lower division program do not have to leave high school. They can stay and enroll in a very demanding upper division program. In that way, the program is not only designed to get a great many more kids ready to succeed in our community colleges, but it is also designed to get many more kids ready to succeed in College Board Advanced Placement courses and IB and other similar programs
Monday February 27, 2012 1:34 Marc Tucker
1:35
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks, Marc. More questions from Elizabeth (just posted above)...
Monday February 27, 2012 1:35 Caralee Adams
1:36
Marc Tucker: 
The Excellence for All pilot program is going on in 21 schools in four states. it is intented to last four years. We are currently looking for pilot schools in other states. If you are interested. go to the NCEE.org web site and click on the Excellence for All program description.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:36 Marc Tucker
1:36
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks. Interesting pilot that we will follow....
Monday February 27, 2012 1:36 Caralee Adams
1:36
[Comment From DeeDee: ] 
Early graduation is focused on higher performing students, many of whom will receive scholarships, etc. and use the last year or two of high school to take A.P. classes that they can receive credit for in college. While I see the economic incentive for the government, how much of an economic incentive is this REALLY for families of early graduates?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:36 Dee
1:36
Caralee Adams: 
Rep. Garofalo want to respond?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:36 Caralee Adams
1:38
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
EGAA is a great program for rural or small schools. In Minnesota, some rural districts may not have the option of college in the classroom or AP. This provides another choice. It doesn't replace AP or PSEO, it is another option.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:38 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:38
Caralee Adams: 
Marc, what would you say is the benefit to families for early graduates?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:38 Caralee Adams
1:39
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
For those just joining EGAA is Early Graduation Achievement Act. :-)
Monday February 27, 2012 1:39 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:39
Marc Tucker: 
The Excellence for All program, as I just explained, will produce more students who have taken more AP courses and more students who are ready for the nursing program or computer systems management program at the local community college. Students in the program will be able to complete an Associates Degree by time they would normally have graduated high school. They will also be more competitive at selective colleges. I would think both of those outcomes would be very attractive to parents
Monday February 27, 2012 1:39 Marc Tucker
1:39
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks to you both....
Monday February 27, 2012 1:39 Caralee Adams
1:39
[Comment From Regina PhilangeyRegina Philangey: ] 
Do schools actively search for students who can/should graduate early, or are the programs mostly reliant on parents?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:39 Regina Philangey
1:40
Caralee Adams: 
Good question...either want to answer from your programs?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:40 Caralee Adams
1:40
Marc Tucker: 
In the case of Excellence for All, we encourage high school to actively recruit students from all backgrounds for the program, because we are convinced that students from all backgrounds will benefit from it.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:40 Marc Tucker
1:41
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks, Rep. Garofalo?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:41 Caralee Adams
1:41
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Mostly both. In fact, a problem we are having here in Minnesota is that the state Departent of Education is almost hiding the program. It is very difficult for parents to even know about the program. And some schools view this as a loss of a revenue stream as opposed to an option to improve student learning.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:41 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:41
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Sorry, mostly parents is what I meant.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:41 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:42
Caralee Adams: 
Is there a mandate from the legislature or a deadline to enforce the program?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:42 Caralee Adams
1:43
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
The department does have it on their website - but they are doing the bare minimum. Like I said, some schools view this as unwanted competition for students.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:43 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:43
Caralee Adams: 
How to you hope to get the word out to students? Do you plan anything further?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:43 Caralee Adams
1:44
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Individual legislators are promoting it and I expect the early graduation for military service component to be something that local military recruiters will start using. It is just a matter of getting more and more people to be aware of the program.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:44 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:44
Caralee Adams: 
OK - thanks for the update.

Clarifying the Excellence for All program.....another question.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:44 Caralee Adams
1:44
[Comment From RachelRachel: ] 
For Marc: what is different about Excellence for all than enrolling in AP classes?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:44 Rachel
1:46
Marc Tucker: 
Schools offering the Excellence for All program chose one complete core curriculum offering from our lower division list and another from our upper division list. So students cannot just take a few AP courses. If the school chooses the AP option for upper division, the students must take an entire core program of courses made up of AP courses. That curriculum is the College Board International Diploma program.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:46 Marc Tucker
1:47
Caralee Adams: 
Thank....this could be answered by either of you:
Monday February 27, 2012 1:47 Caralee Adams
1:47
[Comment From Maxwell WhitneyMaxwell Whitney: ] 
What level of parent involvement is needed for this to be a successful program?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:47 Maxwell Whitney
1:48
Marc Tucker: 
Every program will benefit from parent involvement. This program is no exception. It is demanding, much more demanding that simply getting a high school diploma. It is unlikely the student will succeed if the parents do not think that is goal worth working for.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:48 Marc Tucker
1:48
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks....Patrick?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:48 Caralee Adams
1:48
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
As with any program, parental involvement helps out. But the EGAA just needs one thing - a motiviated student who is willing to learn and grow. That is why it will be successful.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:48 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:48
[Comment From May GanderMay Gander: ] 
What are the legal implications of having more 17 year old (or maybe even 16?) first-year students on college campuses? Traditionally, most students starting college are legal adults.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:48 May Gander
1:49
Caralee Adams: 
Thoughts on this concern....Marc?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:49 Caralee Adams
1:50
Marc Tucker: 
We have talked about our program with higher education officials, chief state school officers, state boards of education, and individual community college and no one has raised a legal objection to the program.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:50 Marc Tucker
1:50
Caralee Adams: 
Representative?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:50 Caralee Adams
1:50
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
I expect the vast majority of these students to be those who graduate 1 semester early and take the $2,500 scholarship. Whether they start school in March or September - in my opinion - will have very little if any legal implications.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:50 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:50
[Comment From LindaLinda: ] 
How does the Minn program help low-income or minority students who might not be able to benefit from the scholarships that come with the early graduation programs? Does the money disproportionately go to students who don't need as much financial assistance?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:50 Linda
1:51
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
The program just started so we do not have demographic data on it yet. However, we do have other programs (AP, College in the Classroom, PSEO) to help all students. Regarding the phrase "students who don't need as much financial assistance" - I'd recommend you look at a tuition bill. Every student needs assistance. :-)
Monday February 27, 2012 1:51 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:52
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks. We have an early HS grad with a comment....
Monday February 27, 2012 1:52 Caralee Adams
1:52
[Comment From AndreaAndrea: ] 
I graduated HS early in 2001. I thought then, as I do now, that early graduation is often a substitute for gifted education. Why not invest in that instead? Allow teens to stay in public school and receive a higher level of education/challenge rather than push them into college?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:52 Andrea
1:52
Caralee Adams: 
Marc....is that part of the concept in your program - an option?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:52 Caralee Adams
1:53
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
I believe that creates a false choice. In MInnesota we do provide extra dollars for gifted programs. I think you make a good point but rather than choosing, why not do both and let the student decide?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:53 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
1:54
Marc Tucker: 
That is one option with our program. As I explained earlier, a student who passes his or her exams at the end of the sophomore year will be able to enrol in the upper division in very demanding programs that would strecth any student. Some of these, by the way go well beyond calculus in the area of mathematics and offer advanced work in the sciences as well. We agree with this student, but that does not mean that we cannot also let students who want to go to community college and pursue another track get on with their lives, too
Monday February 27, 2012 1:54 Marc Tucker
1:55
Caralee Adams: 
Marc....with Excellence for All, what is the take on the pathway from community college, as Elisabeth asks:
Monday February 27, 2012 1:55 Caralee Adams
1:55
[Comment From Elisabeth PiffElisabeth Piff: ] 
How long is it expected that the students will stay at a community college before they could transfer to a 4-yr college, if they choose to do so?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:55 Elisabeth Piff
1:57
Marc Tucker: 
Excellence for All assumes that a student going on to community college will elect either to enrol in a two-year college transfer program in order to transfer to a four year college after two years, or will enroll in a two-year certificate or Associate Degree program leading to an industy-recognized qualification.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:57 Marc Tucker
1:57
Caralee Adams: 
Also from Elisabeth a comment:
Monday February 27, 2012 1:57 Caralee Adams
1:57
[Comment From Elisabeth PiffElisabeth Piff: ] 
I would agree. I graduated at 16 years old and went straight into a 4 year university. I went on to law school after and now am working with an education foundation and I see great potential in letting students make that decision for themselves. Also, it allowed me to get that extra challenge, while also allowing me to be out in the workforce earlier so that I could better care for myself earlier in my life.
Monday February 27, 2012 1:57 Elisabeth Piff
1:57
Caralee Adams: 
Another comment....
Monday February 27, 2012 1:57 Caralee Adams
1:58
[Comment From Rick ArcherRick Archer: ] 
Other countries have high school end at 16 with taking "boards" or tests. Some students go on to university, some to vo-tech and some to work. Unstead of early graduation, why not 16 as standard graduation age?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:58 Rick Archer
1:58
Caralee Adams: 
Marc, I know you've studied other models globally...your thoughts?
Monday February 27, 2012 1:58 Caralee Adams
2:00
Marc Tucker: 
The Excellence for All program is based on the design you just described. Those countries actually don't have anything called a high school diploma. They have qualifications, which attest to accomplishments needed to go to something in particular. So they are performance=based systems, not time-in-the-seat systems. I agree. That is what we need here in the United States.
Monday February 27, 2012 2:00 Marc Tucker
2:00
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks, Marc..
Any final thoughts with this question from Lisa....
Monday February 27, 2012 2:00 Caralee Adams
2:00
[Comment From LisaLisa: ] 
Many kids are still undecided as to what career option they want to pursue when they are graduating from high school at 18. Do you see moving this decision up a couple of years without giving them time to explore more areas through high school courses to be a problem?
Monday February 27, 2012 2:00 Lisa
2:00
Caralee Adams: 
Both respond, if you want please...
Monday February 27, 2012 2:00 Caralee Adams
2:01
Marc Tucker: 
The Excellence for All system makes it possible for students to follow their career star earlier if they want to, but it certainly does not require them to do that.
Monday February 27, 2012 2:01 Marc Tucker
2:04
EdWeek Bryan: 
That's great, Marc. Let's wrap things up there.

Thanks to all of you who joined us today. We hope you enjoyed the chat. Special thanks go out to our moderator Caralee, our two great guests, Rep. Pat Garofalo and Marc Tucker, and to the Lumina Foundation for providing the underwriting for the content of this chat.

We'll have a transcript of today's chat available at the same link within the hour. Have a great rest of the day!
Monday February 27, 2012 2:04 EdWeek Bryan
2:04
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Every situation is different. If kids are like me, they will got through 10 career ptions in college.
Monday February 27, 2012 2:04 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
2:04
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
:-)
Monday February 27, 2012 2:04 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
2:04
Caralee Adams: 
Thanks to everyone for your great questions and to our panelists for their time and expertise.

I really enjoyed this. Hope you all did too.

Monday February 27, 2012 2:04 Caralee Adams
2:04
Rep. Patrick Garofalo: 
Thank you everyone. Have a great day!
Monday February 27, 2012 2:04 Rep. Patrick Garofalo
2:05
 

 
 
 

What States and Nonprofits Are Doing to Encourage Early High School Graduation

Monday, February 27, 2012, 1 p.m. ET
Underwriting for the content of this online chat has been provided by The Lumina Foundation.

A handful of states are offering students scholarship money for college if they graduate from high school early. And nonprofit organizations are piloting a new approach to curriculum and testing that give students a chance to wrap up their high school studies early. Such initiatives can give high-achieving students an incentive to work hard by taking summer school or online classes to wrap up their requirements a semester or two early. For others who are burned out on high school, an early exit enables them to avoid the senior slump and puts them on a fast-track to their career path.

The policies can save education dollars along the way—less instructional dollars spent by states and tuition savings for families. While some are concerned that students might be exiting the system before they are ready, others say by rewarding proficiency over seat time, students will leave high school college- and career-ready. Our guests spoke about the challenges and merits behind this movement in this online chat.

Guests:
Pat Garofalo, Republican from Minnesota and sponsor of the Early Graduation Achievement Act that passed in the state legislature last year.
Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, a Washington organization that is piloting an early high school graduation project in select high schools.

Caralee Adams, contributing writer, Education Week, moderated this chat.

Related Story:

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