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  1. John T. Spencer

    I used to complain about 8th grade graduation. Then someone said, “John, life is about transitions. It’s about moving from one phase to another. Let’s celebrate that. Otherwise, the only graduation ceremony you get is a funeral.”

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  2. Kristi Bishop

    What would happen if middle school “counted”? If students in grades 6-8 earned credits toward middle school graduation? So many students arrive to me in 9th grade completely unprepared, having skated along for years and years, promoted despite absenteeism and lack of achievement. So many 9th grade students end up failing their first semester because they do not understand the need for credits and the long-term goal of graduation. Then they drop out in the face of the actual work that they will need to do in the future to actually earn a diploma. If we made middle school count, we might have 7th grade drop-outs.

    Why does the education system keep promoting students who aren’t really students and keep punishing truants with jail time? I feel like schools have become a place to contain young people, to keep them relatively occupied for as many years as possible, so they don’t get into trouble. Teachers become baby-sitters rather than educators.

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