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Amparo Bertram

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07:28 am: Educational Crisis
The big news of the hour here in Japan is that there are thousands of high school seniors across the country who are in danger of not graduating due to the failure of their schools to require the proper curriculum.

The national requirements for graduation from high school are that all students must have world history AND either Japanese history or geography. However, the biggest colleges only require that a student have taken ONE of those three subjects.

High school used to be six days a week (Monday through Saturday), but in the late 1990s that was reduced to a five-day week, so schools had to cut back on the number of hours they were teaching. To maintain their effectiveness in preparing students for college, they focused on teaching only the subjects required by the colleges. It has just come to light that, in pursuing this particular focus, over a hundred schools nationwide were failing to meet national graduation requirements. Thus, there are thousands of seniors who need to make up an extra class (world history, Japanese history, or geography) in order to be able to graduate...and graduation is in March, which means their only choice is to come in before school, after school, and during winter vacation. These are students who are ALREADY stressed out over taking their college entrance exams soon.

I don't believe my school is having this problem, thank goodness. If I were one of the affected students, though, I would be seriously angry at the school.

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From:sara_tanaquil
Date:October 26th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
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That's terrible. They couldn't do something sensible like grandfathering out the currently graduting seniors?

Poor kids!
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 27th, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)
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They couldn't do something sensible like grandfathering out the currently graduting seniors?

I didn't hear that suggested in the news report. They did, however, say that it was possible to take a high school equivalency exam. That would at least make the students eligible to attend college without having to squeeze in an extra course, but I don't know what other issues there might be with that solution.
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From:devimustang0929
Date:October 27th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Wow. That definitely has a place on my list of monumental ridiculous screw-ups of all time (assuming I were ever to take the time to make such a list). But seriously, that is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. I'd be pretty angry too. Students, parents...and it's not like it's even their fault.

Wow.

I need a breather here.
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From:megory
Date:October 28th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
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So, if since the late 1990s schools have dropped the class (or two), does that mean that all the graduates since then really aren't graduates? Some of them have probably already finished college.

It would make a lot more sense to either drop the requirement altogether, or at least begin the reinforcement with next year's senior class --or freshman class, for that matter...so it can be worked into the schedule.

I am so glad your school isn't having the problem.

Michigan is imposing tougher graduation requirements, but I believe they begin with the new freshman class. Many think we'll have fewer graduates rather than a more college ready graduating class.

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 28th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
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does that mean that all the graduates since then really aren't graduates?

That's what I believe they were saying. They mentioned that the problem has gone back a few years, and they are only now discovering it.

It would make a lot more sense to either drop the requirement altogether, or at least begin the reinforcement with next year's senior class --or freshman class, for that matter...so it can be worked into the schedule.

The Japanese Ministry of Education is not all that big on being flexible with its rules. I don't know if they'll decide to compromise on this issue.
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