- Parent Category: Upper-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Education Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
Teenagers in quite a few countries graduate high school at sixteen. But in the US, children attend high school for four years. At eighteen, the US teens often then attend a two- or four-year university. But four years of high school don't necessarily better prepare students for higher education. Students in the US don't score as well as their peers elsewhere on international standardized tests.
New Hampshire education officials have suggested that all students should be ready for college at the age of sixteen. After strict tests at the tenth grade, students may graduate and attend a community or technical college. If the children wish to attend a high-ranking university, they may remain in high school for another two years. During the extra two years, they will study for even more difficult tests.
The proposal was made because of America's worsening education system. The US enjoyed the best educated workforce in the world just forty years ago. It now ranks tenth in the world, though. In addition, the decline continues despite efforts to reverse this trend. More jobs get outsourced, and the first choice for many businesses isn't always the US. Without focusing on the needed changes, America will become less competitive in the world.
Opponents believe that low-income, less-educated families would likely opt for two years of school. These children will then enter poorer schools, and so forever reduce their job prospects and future income. In time, such a system will lead to an even greater 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.
- Four years of high school don't ( ) better prepare students for higher education.
- Students in the US don't score as well as their ( ) elsewhere on international standardized tests.
- After strict tests at the tenth grade, students may graduate and ( ) a community college.
- The ( ) was made because of America's worsening education system.
- The decline continues despite efforts to reverse this ( ).
- Without ( ) on the needed changes, America will face many problems.
- America will become less ( ) in the world.
- Low-income, less-educated families would likely ( ) for two years of school.
- These children will then enter poorer schools, and so reduce their job ( ) and future income.
- In time, such a system will lead to an even greater ( ) between the haves and the have nots.
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Do you think that teenagers are ready to decide their future at sixteen? Why/not?
- If students do well on tests, does it really mean that they are ready to graduate? Why/not?
- What is the ideal age to graduate from high school? Why do you think so?
- What is the ideal age to graduate from college? Why do you think so?
- What is the education system like in your country? 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.