State Capitol News
9:07 am
Thu April 8, 2010

Senate Panel Approves Plan to Allow Some High School Student Graduate in Two Years

Phoenix, AZ – Right now state law spells out how many credits in English, math
science and other subjects a student needs to graduate. Rep. Rich
Crandall said that's the wrong way to look at it.

(We in America are so focused on the length of time you sit in a
classroom. We've gotten away from the concept of what you know.
Instead we count the number of minutes you sit there.)

Crandall said what's worse is that the other prerequisite to
graduating is passing the AIMS reading, writing and math tests
first given in 10th grade. And with a majority of students
passing the first time, he said they just cruise through the rest
of high school. This plan would let students pursue what would be
called the Grand Canyon Diploma. They would have to pass a series
of tests on core subjects. Then they could go on to community
college, vocational training, take advance placement classes or
even drop out. Crandall acknowledged some people just do well on
tests. But he said these would be structured so a student
actually had to prove real ability to get out early.

(It's multiple exams with multiple different methods. Some are
project based where you have to demonstrate you know a concept.
Some are oral. Some are written. I don't mean A-B-C-D, I mean an
actual written paper that's been graded on several different
factors. You combine all those things. Yeah, you can fool some of
the people some of the time, but not all the people all the
time.)

For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.