Utah's high school graduation rate is embarrassingly low. At 76 percent of public school students earning a diploma, Utah ranks in the bottom half of all states.
Now, in response to criticism last year that 12th grade is a waste of time, a committee is recommending some changes to grading and graduation requirements. Still lacking in details, some of the suggestions presented to the State Office of Education may be helpful, especially for high-achieving students. But as a way of helping more children succeed, not just in high school but in earlier grades, and to boost the number graduating, the ideas miss the mark.
The changes would give some students the option of graduating early by letting them "test out" of certain required classes such as physical education, art and technical or career classes. Passing competency tests or switching those classes for remediation or career-oriented courses could ensure that seniors aren't spinning their wheels.