November 13, 2008

States Move to Overhaul High Schools

Three states -- New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Utah -- are considering overhauling what high school is meant to do for students, education experts say.

If the projects are successful it could mean dramatic changes nationally for education policy, The Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday.

New Hampshire is considering allowing students to leave high school at 16 if they are ready for college or job training. In Massachusetts, the new 10-year education plan includes making room for schools created and run by teachers. Utah has begun raising teacher salaries to help recruit top college graduates.

The three states "see clearly that the age of incremental change has not been working, (and they) are working to create new systems that will produce vastly better results," said Marc Tucker, co-chair of the commission, a project of the National Center on Education and the Economy.

"Doing well isn't good enough," said Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville. "This is a challenging time to launch such a change movement."

To help make sure students have the support they need at school, Massachusetts has created a Child and Youth Readiness Cabinet, a panel that will share health, social services and education information in a student-data system.