High School to Make Getting Into College a Graduation Requirement
In addition to getting passing grades in all their subjects and maintaining a good attendance record, students of one school district in Oregon will be required to meet a third requirement if they wish to graduate high school: Get into college.
The Corbett School District is expected to vote on a proposal that will require all students to apply, and get accepted to, the college of their choice.
Though the school board isn't scheduled to vote on the measure until December, the board's chair, Charlie O'Neil, is absolutely certain it will pass.
Detractors say Superintendent Randy Trani and Corbett High School Principal Phil Pearson are not concerned with their students' future success so much as they're concerned with the school's national ranking.
Back in 2005, Trani instituted a policy dubbed "AP for All" that required students to take at least six Advanced Placement courses in order to receive a diploma.
The initiative worked insofar as it landed Corbett High School on Newsweek's top 10 list of America’s Best High Schools by 2009.
But a change in the ranking methodology caused Corbett's placement to drop way down just two years later.
Newsweek, it seems, had started putting a stronger emphasis on college acceptance.
Corbett began paying for juniors to take the SATs, but that did little to help its status. By 2013, the school founds itself 58th on Newsweek's list.
"I see this as nothing more than a ploy to create the rankings like he did with ‘AP for All,'" Corbett parent Karina Lande told the Oregonian.
Trani, naturally, denies this, saying his only intention is to give students "choices."
He also noted that, while students who didn't get into either a college or a trade school would not be allowed to graduate, practically anyone can get into Mt. Hood Community College if they just fill out the necessary paperwork.
One of the Corbett freshmen for whom the requirement will be a reality in 2017 said he believed the requirement would cause his classmates to aim lower for fear of not being accepted.
"Why require people to be accepted?" said Colin Horn. "I think it should be a rule to apply, but not get accepted."