Graduate Early, Get College Tuition

Here’s an interesting concept that may save money and help some students: Pay community college tuition for students who graduate early from high school, and make graduation subject to passing specific tests rather than simply racking up time in class.

The New York Times reports that eights states–Kansas is not one of them–will take up the idea next school year, helped along by the Bill and Melinda  Gates Foundation and the federal government.

Students in participating schools will be able to take tests, known as board exams, as early as the end of tenth grade. Terry Holland, the top education official, said that the tests represent a change in thinking: “We’ve been tied to seat time for 100 years. This would allow an approach based on subject mastery — a system based around move-on-when-ready.” That sounds good to me.

The participating states are: Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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