This spring, Florida’s 8th graders will have to choose a “major area of interest,”—a course of study similar to a college major, only for high school. The majors may be as specific as forestry or digital imaging, or cover more general academic areas, such as social studies. State officials say the plan should help boost Florida’s sagging graduation rate and send the message that “your high school is interested in accommodating your dreams and your goals.” But what about those middle-schoolers who haven’t yet figured out what they want to do with the rest of their lives? Or those who enjoy many subjects? “There are a lot of kids in college who don’t know what they’re majoring in,” says one critic. “So the idea that they’ll know in high school is a bit of a stretch.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.