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Scott McLeod

Greg, I greatly appreciate your advocacy for students who typically have few supporters. Keep up the good work!

Isn't the big policy issue here, however, about what should be the DESIRED state? I'm not convinced that the feds don't have it right. Sure, in reality, we're not there yet. But having every student graduate high school within four years of starting, and sending some pressure and support toward school districts that aren't doing a very good job of that, seems to me to be a desirable outcome, no?

Fred Deutsch

This has got to be among the most controversial (dare I say stupid) education ideas I've every heard. Why even require graduation? If someone wants to earn a diploma, why not provide them a birth-to-burial plan -- anyone can qualify for a diploma as long as they're still in the land of the living. Hell, given some latitude for the slippery slope, why don't we just allow k-12 to become an optional program? No worry, no hassle, no stress. First education in America becomes a timeless event under your plan, and then it becomes optional.

David Keane

I teach in a school where 68 % of the students are on free or reduced lunch. This next year, over 25% will have Individual Education Plans and qualify for special education services. I see students who each and everyday overcome remarkable barriers. These students have parents who are unfit and often so consumed by their own problems, they are being taken care of by their children. I make a point to each and every student that education is their way out of their current situation. I also encourage them to complete school regardless of how long it might take them. We had a very low graduation this past year and were greatly chastised by a segment of our community. This segment although living side by side with those in poverty, can not possibly understand exactly what these children are going through. I explained to everyone that although our graduation rate as defined by the formula developed at the Governor's conference which only allows students four years to graduate from high school is low, our completion rate is good. We have students each and every year that return as super-seniors. We make a significant effort to make these students feel shameless about their need for another year. I think that ideally schools should strive to have all students graduating after 4 years in high school, but also be structured to allow for disadvantaged youth to take additional time and accelerated students to graduate early.

Mary, high school student

I agree that it should be a non-timed event. It is not stupid and if you want to get a better education at the age of 60, there should be no obstacles. If you have time, if you can reason on a good level, if you wish to do more than you are doing - WHY NOT? Only because you're old? That's what I'd call stupid.

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