Original URL: http://www.azstarnet.com/star/wed/31119RNoSeniorYear.html

Colorado looks at abolishing grade 12
November 19, 2003

DENVER - High school without seniors?

Colorado lawmakers have asked education officials to study the possibility of eliminating the 12th grade and establishing a year of preschool instead.

They said it would better prepare students for college by giving them an early start and possibly save money.

"I'd really like to see if we might change the model," Republican state Sen. Ron Teck said Monday. "We've been operating under the same education model for the last 100 years."

Colorado is the first state to discuss the elimination of the senior year to replace it with preschool, said Jennifer Dounay, a policy analyst with the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.

Florida has adopted a plan to let seniors skip their senior year by graduating with 18 credit hours instead of 24.

Hoang Nguyen, a 17-year-old senior at suburban Arvada High School, said it would be a mistake to eliminate 12th grade.

He said colleges might hold it against students who fail to complete a traditional high school curriculum.

"The senior year is the next step to going to college. It's a year when you find out who you are," he said.