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Fifth-Year Senior: Why Making High School Longer Is a Brilliant Idea

Maine wants to accelerate the traditional secondary curriculum and bring introductory college courses down to high school.


After four years of high school, you were probably pretty ready to graduate. But what if you could have earned college credit if you stayed for a fifth year? Students in Maine might soon get the option to do just that. In order to ensure that the state is truly preparing the workforce of the future, governor Paul LePage followed up on a campaign promise this week and issued an executive order that creates a task force to study whether a five-year high school option can be implemented state-wide.

The five-year initiative would accelerate the traditional high school curriculum so that credits are finished more quickly, and bring introductory college courses—college English 101, for example—down to the high school level. Students who opt in to the five-year program would graduate with both a high school diploma and either an associate's degree or two years of credits that they can then transfer to the college of their choice.

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Oregon Makes High Schoolers Apply to College to Get a Diploma

But is this actually going to help anyone (other than the politicians)?

This week the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill that will deny graduating seniors their diplomas until they “showed proof of application to college, the U.S. armed forces or into an apprenticeship program." One the bill's sponsors, Rep. Tobias Read, says the bill isn't "about telling someone what is right for them but helping them make sure they're considering the choices and taking a step towards an option that's right for them." In other words, students are required to start planning for life after graduation. That can't be so bad, right?

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Will Daniel Craig's PSA Make Up for the Chauvinistic Bond Franchise?

For an International Women's Day PSA, Daniel Craig literally steps into a woman's shoes. The Bond franchise, we assume, won't change.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkp4t5NYzVM

Nobody would ever peg womanizing spy James Bond as an advocate for gender equality. But in this two-minute clip starring Daniel Craig as Bond and produced by the organization We Are Equals for the 100th annual International Women's Day, 007 gets totally schooled by "M" on the challenges women face—and spends half the clip dressed as a woman. It's a gutsy move to put such a chauvinistic character in drag, but there's no denying the impact of this one PSA is dwarfed by all the sexist gender biases and scantily-dressed "Bond Girls" that have been mainstays of the 22 Bond movies released to date. Perhaps this PSA a sign that Craig's planning to pressure the franchise's script writers to not include such biases and imagery in the upcoming Bond 23?

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