Sweet sixteen is the right time to leave high school and leap into higher education, New Hampshire education officials say. Following advice from a blue-ribbon panel that warned of America's educational decline 2 years ago, the state plans to test 10th graders with tough new exams. Those who pass can attend community or tech colleges instead of high school, Time reports.
The move is intended to elevate students to compete with top-notch European and Asian pupils. With high schoolers prepping for the big exam, "kids at every level will be taking tough courses and working hard," one US official says. Others warn that such a system would divide the nation's welders from bankers at too young an age: It will mean "an even more polarized higher education structure—and ultimately society—than we already have," one professor says.