Since budgets are so short the government is thinking about different ways to cut education funding without crippling it. They realize that many students are not prepared for college while others are. So dozens of high schools located in eight states are introducing and testing a program which would allow tenth graders to take tests and if they pass, they can graduate two years early and immediately enroll in community colleges.

But it also allows students that wish to stay in the 11th and 12th grades the opportunity to do so. However, if students don’t pass the exams in the 10th grade they can take them at the end of their 11th or 12th grade years. And those that remain in school for those two years may continue taking college preparatory classes in order to prepare for selective colleges. And if students do not pass the tests then they must remain in school until they can pass the tests.

The U. S. isn’t the first country to try this. The program was implemented and found to be successful in a number of countries including England, France, Denmark, Singapore, and Finland, all of which are high performing countries education wise. Through these exams America hopes to reduce the number of students that require remedial courses in college and the National Center on Education and the Economy believes this will help. Supposedly over a million college students require remedial courses each year and many drop out and never finish their degree.

Schools believe that one way to fight the college dropout rate is by making kids study and prepare themselves for college. Marc Tucker from a Washington based non-profit group said that “We’ve looked at schools all over the world, and if you walk into a high school in the countries that use these board exams, you’ll see kids working hard, whether they want to be a carpenter or a brain surgeon.”

The states that will be testing the program are located in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. And within each state 10 to 20 high schools will be implementing the pilot program. And experts hope that it will eventually spread to other states.

Currently in the U.S. there is testing but students don’t really understand what’s on the test and it makes it more difficult to study for. But in Singapore students are promised if they study their syllabuses they will do well on their exams. In the U.S. it’s a different case; there isn’t a clear goal and prize. But the board examinations would change that because students realize if they prepare themselves there is the opportunity to graduate two years early.

Education in America isn’t what it should be, yet in other countries it’s much better and students are better prepared for college and the rest of their life. Since there are a lot of problems and few solutions that could improve the system, this sounds like a good idea. These states can test it out see how it works and then depending on the results other states can follow suit.

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