12th grade optional

Thank you Morgan, I’m pretty sure this one was your idea.

Somehow I managed to make my deadline last week and opted to write about the new 12th Grade Optional plan Utah Legislature is considering. I would say more, but I kind of already wrote 700 words on the topic and don’t want to waste your time. Click here to read this week’s Standard Examiner Top of Utah Voices column.


  1. I liked your post. I don’t think there were as many drunk kids at my school but there was drinking, drugs, wasting time, and just general laziness. There were also tons of AP classes and opps for good things. I decided my sophomore year to grad a year early and it was the best thing I’d ever done. Too many people look at this proposal like it is taking away opportunities. But it seems to me that it is just giving more kids more options and making it easier to graduate early and get on to college.

  2. I didn’t party during my senior year, because I was the biggest loser ever, but I was almost completely done with my credits. So I went to like one class in the morning, went to a half-day internship, and went home. Pretty much a waste of time.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more! I actually participated in a Post-Secondary Program starting my sophomore year, and started attending a local college FULL-TIME at the age of 15! I loved it. I felt like I was learning more, with less drama. And I did end up graduating high school (after only really attending for my freshman year!) a year early, as well as getting my Associate’s Degree at the same time. Of course, that isn’t for everyone, but there are so many teenagers out there that CAN handle it. I would even venture to say that some teens should do it!

  4. Very well said. I have 3 YW who would love to skip ahead from Senior year and go to college – I would love for them to have that choice.

  5. No problem. 🙂 I actually didn’t go to high school my senior year. I graduated a year early and went to BYU. So needless to say, I agree with you. 🙂

  6. Sorry, I couldn’t disagree with you more. For those who want to go to a real university you need all four years to get the credits done. I think it’s lame when kids go to some Jr. College in high school and take credits. They could be taking AP classes and getting credit that way, but they want to take the easier way. I don’t get it.

    I think Buttar’s is insane as well. I don’t know what everyone else was doing in high school, but I was getting ready for college. Apparently we are desperate enough to follow in CA footsteps and cancel Kindergarten and the freshman year of college. Oh and firing tenured teachers. I didn’t realize Utah was that desperate.

    • annie valentine says:

      Um, I graduated from BYU in four years with a fantastic GPA, and I took two years of my high school at a junior college. So before you start talking about the “easier way” and “real universities” you might want to get your facts straights.

    • Kari, I started at a community college while I was in high school. After two years, I graduated with an Associate’s Degree and then transferred to a “real university”. Two years at that university would have given me a Bachelor’s (if I didn’t get married and get pregnant). I don’t think that AP classes in high school are any better than attending a small college. I don’t think that attending a local college is really the easier way (it takes a lot of dedication to get yourself there, compete with students that may be twice or three times your age, take responsibility for proper scheduling of credits and time conflicts, etc.) I don’t think that participating in programs that allow high school students to attend a local college will keep them from a “real university”. It’s all just a variety of options to the student that may not want to waste time in high school, when they could be taking an acceptable stepping stone to a great university. Just my opinion based on my own experience, though.

  7. I don’t think skipping would have worked for me, I needed that extra year. I knew a lot of kids that graduated early too. Personally I think if kids have a desire, instead of taking a year off just to get to the University sooner they should consider taking a year to study abroad.

  8. It wouldn’t have worked for me, and while I had tons of friends that were smart enough to handle college, they weren’t mature enough for it. They were thinking about college when they were still young, but they just weren’t ready for it, does that make sense?

    I think it could work for some, but not the majority. In some places, kids need that senior year to finish credits because school districts are requiring more credits to graduate. When I was in high school, we only needed three math credits, now four are required. There are a ton of other things that are required now that weren’t when I was in school (I think there’s a total of 6 more classes that are needed in the school districts where my dad teaches), and if I had these requirements, I would have had to drop band and drama. I would have had no life and no friends if we had these same requirements the kids have now. And I went to summer school almost every year so I could get rid of some of the icky classes I didn’t want to take for a full year. Like algebra.

    • annie valentine says:

      Fantastic point, Kelly. I really think the idea only pertains to kids who are ready to be out of the high school experience early, and I know from experience there is definitely a group of those out there. The rest should get to make the most of that time and finish the maturing they need for adulthood.

  9. @Kari- Like I mentioned in my comment above, I entirely skipped (as in didn’t go) to my senior year. I graduated with ALL the credit I needed as a junior and was immediately accepted to BYU and attended and graduated. All without a senior year. It can be done!

  10. Hmmm, interesting indeed. I never graduated –dropped out….but went to Ricks College (or sadly known as BYU-Idaho) My parents wanted me away from Mr. Gorgeous —and look at us now, 40 years apart and back together

    but that is OFF TOPIC. Education is the key. Those kids who dig in and complete their courses should be allowed to move on as they are serious about their education anyway…and want to start to contribute….and get out of the high school silly’s
    I had some of my very own kids JUST FLY THROUGH 12TH GRADE. Sluffed, take stupid classes as they were done with the ones they needed to graduate…it was just a social time is all.
    Kind of a waste

  11. If that had been more of an option in my high school career, I would have totally gotten out early. And I would have LOVED to graduate with my associates. One year less in the he** hole that was my HS would have been bliss.

  12. I think the key word here is “optional”. I don’t see why anyone would feel the need to argue with kids having more options. There is no cookie cutter way to do things that works for everyone. If they were saying, “Let’s get rid of 12th grade for everyone!” Then it would make sense for people to protest. But what they’re saying is for some kids it would work and why not give those kids the option? I’m all for it. There’s honestly a 5 year window for 12th grade anyway if you consider that right now some people are graduating at 17 and really challenged kids are allowed to continue on up until age 21. Case by case basis, I say.