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Early Graduation

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Teenagers in a lot of countries graduate high school when they are sixteen. But in the US, children attend high school for four years. Four years of high school might not prepare students for college, though. Students in the US don't score as well as other students around the world on international standardized tests.

In New Hampshire, some education officials have suggested that students should be ready for college when they are sixteen. After tests in the tenth grade, students may graduate and go to a community or technical college. If they children want to study at a four-year university, they can stay in high school for two more years. During the extra two years, they will study more challenging, advanced material.

The suggestion was made because of the problems with America's education system. Forty years ago, the US had the best educated workforce in the world. It now ranks tenth in the world, and the problem is getting worse. More jobs are sent overseas, for example, where the workforce may be inexpensive and have more skills.

Opponents believe that low-income, less-educated families wouldn't send their children to universities for four years, though. These children would have fewer job opportunities in the future. Such a system will lead to more inequality between the haves and the have nots.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Title: Speculate and/or discuss the contents of today's article from its title: "Early Graduation."

Fill in the Blank: Fill in the blank with the correct word.

  1. But in the US, children (                         ) high school for four years.
  2. Four years of high school might not (                         ) students for college.
  3. They will study more (                         ), advanced material.
  4. The US now (                         ) tenth in the world.
  5. The workforce may be (                         ) and have more skills.
  6. Such a system will lead to more (                         ).

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Do you think that teenagers are ready to decide their future at sixteen? Why/not?
  2. If students do well on tests, does it really mean that they are ready to graduate?
  3. Do you think this system will lead to an unequal society? Why/not?
  4. What is the education system like in your country? Please explain.
  5. What do you think about home schooling? Please explain.

Google Search: Type "education" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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