Several Arizona public high schools will participate in a program this year that allows students to graduate from high school after only two years.
The program, the Move On When Ready initiative, was passed by the Arizona Legislature last year. It would allow students to essentially test out of high school after two years and begin taking more advanced classes at community colleges as they prepare to go to a four-year university.
Supporters of the program say it offers some incentive for kids to do well in school in order to finish earlier. They also hope it will change the focus from the amount of time a student spends in a classroom to learning skills actually needed in the workplace or college.
"Prove to us what you know, not how long you can sit there," state Senator Rich Crandall, a co-sponsor of the bill, tells the Arizona Republic.
Opponents of the bill cite "the cost of training teachers in the new curriculum or the time needed to evaluate and choose one of the approved curriculum providers. Convincing students and their parents of the need for another high-stakes test is another potential obstacle. Students who take the board exam would not be required to take Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards, the AIMS test."
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