The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday January 29th

National Report Seeks Remedies for Senioritis

Rex Bolinger, a member of the group that compiled the report, believes the 12th grade is often a waste.

The National Commission on the High School Senior Year released the preliminary report. The commission will now hold public meetings to discuss the findings of "The Lost Opportunity of Senior Year: Finding a Better Way."

According to the report, "one-third to one-half of high school students are undereducated or miseducated."

The report further states that, "Senior year is a lost opportunity, during which many students let one-fourth of their high school learning time slip through their fingers."

Angola High School Principal Rex Bolinger, who was on the commission that released the report, said the report will come out in two parts.

Bolinger said the preliminary report's findings will be the topic of nationwide public discussions aimed at pinpointing ways to make the senior year of high school more worthwhile to students preparing for work and college.

Bolinger said he wholeheartedly supports the public discussions on the reports findings because education involves parents, students and teachers.

"Responsibility is really a collective thing for everyone involved in education," he said. "It all can't happen within the four walls of the classroom."

And with the input of the community taken into account, the second report will be written with specific recommendations and suggestions and released, Bolinger said. He added that some ideas to improve the quality of the senior year had already surfaced.

"Students should take AP courses at community colleges to free up teachers to teach students who need these really good teachers," he said.

But Bolinger does recognize certain problems with this idea, such as the question of transportation to community colleges.

And other solutions, like delaying student admission to college until spring semester of senior year, exist to fend off senioritis, he said. "Often colleges will admit students to college (during the fall semester)," Bolinger said. "Students fail to see the need to take rigorous courses."

He cited giving placement tests during the junior year of high school as a third possible solution. "Students need to take placement tests during their junior year to see where they stand," Bolinger said.

And Bolinger said the junior placement tests could direct students during their last year in high school and allow them to forego the remedial college courses that many take now because of a wasted senior year.

But UNC academic adviser Elizabeth Jordan said incoming freshmen differed greatly in terms preparedness for college. "I think it's hard to characterize. Some freshmen are doing really well," Jordan said. "Some (freshmen) are struggling with academic eligibility."

She said the reasons for student performance vary as well, but solutions do exist for students seeking help. "There are lots and lots of resources, but because it is a big campus, students need to take the initiative and seek them out."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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