A High School Senior's Ideas on How to Reform the Educational System

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Who wants to read yet another dose of “how to change our schools” given that everybody thinks they are an expert on the topic and the debate, if it can be called that, has been mired in the stagnant swamp of politics? Well, to answer my own question, not many people who have a life! My hypothesis regarding the plethora of well-intentioned (95% of them anyways) misguided, ineffective reform plans is that none of them really consider four variables that are crucial to any new effective reform efforts. In their simplest forms the three considerations are:
1. A failure to honor the fact that our students, and especially our seniors, are socially and developmentally different beings than were their predecessors of a decade and more ago. We
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(The previous major cultural transitions were the Sumerian development of symbolic communication followed by the Gutenberg press. For more information on this see …….)

I do believe that any effective, lasting reform must address each of these issues if it is to be successful. Relevance is dependent on each of these issues and we are at great risk of making our schools into shoddy museums of irrelevance for our children when of them have to check their lives at the door when they come to school because we are, I fear, becoming “schoolseums”. When our students have to put their indigenous lives away rather than incorporate them in the learning processes, we are becoming irrelevant. We will not achieve any lasting reform for our students if we cannot do more than the bureaucratic reform-of-the-day or the political swagger of blame or if we do not do more than just rearranging the deck chairs.

I make no claims to having the prescience to identify all of what needs to be changed and how it needs to be changed. I do have a proposal that I believe deserves consideration and debate and that addresses the four issues (surprise). I make this proposal after much research, consideration and discussion and do not see it as the panacea for all schools everywhere but as something we in Vermont could reasonable attempt.

The proposal is to end the senior year of high school as we know it. There is evidence that the senior year is

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