Legal Requirement To Plan Your Life – In Eleventh Grade.

Republican Nate Gentry and Democrat Daniel Ivey-Soto have introduced a bill into the New Mexico legislation that will require students to declare a career path before they can graduate from high and get a diploma.

The text of the bill reads:

For students entering the eleventh grade beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the secretary shall promulgate rules to provide that the plan shall require a student to file an application with a college or show that the student has committed to an internship or apprenticeship or military service.

That’s it. Four choices: college, an internship, approved vocational training or military service.

We aren’t sure where family businesses fit into this. After all, if you are a farmer, there is no official apprenticeship and the same holds true for a family restaurant, store or whatever.

There is also another choice that is missing:

Note the gigantic, important option missing: getting a job. The original draft of the legislation did include that among the choices, but it’s been crossed out in the current version.

There are so many problems with this proposal as Scott Shackford of notes:

In an interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Gentry made it clear that the purpose of this bill is try to get more students to go to college. “This is a politically easy thing to move the needle,” he said.

Let’s just set aside for a moment (just a moment) that high school seniors are not the property of the State of New Mexico, and it’s morally repugnant for them to withhold a diploma just because someone won’t comply with a list of government-approved futures. There are other problems here too. New Mexico already has the second-worst high school graduation rate in the country, at 71 percent. Certainly another barrier to graduation is not going to help.

And no, the proposal doesn’t provide a way to cover costs for low-income students essentially being forced to apply to college in order to earn their high school diploma. Nor do the legislation’s sponsors seem to care whether students are able to succeed in college or even have access to the apprenticeships the bill mentions. A legislative analysis warns that the plan

requires students to apply to college, but does not address college-readiness or completion. It is imperative to ensure students are prepared for success as 39.1 percent of New Mexico high school graduates (graduated in FY16) enrolled in remedial coursework as first time freshman at New Mexico public postsecondary institutions….

HB23 does not address the quality or availability of internships and apprenticeships available to high school graduates. Apprenticeships are most often part of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, and may only be available to select students who took CTE dual credit coursework that articulated into a certificate or degree.

We should note that while the legislative analysis shows that students may be under-prepared for college, many college students enter college without knowing what they want to major in. Most colleges we know require that the person declare a major by the start of their junior year – four years after this bill would require them to choose that career path.

If one wants to look at how much of a failure this bill is, one only need look at the two sponsors. Both men went to law school and became lawyers and are not not using their education and are instead in politics. After years of a college education, they switched career paths and yet they expect a teen to check some box on a form to get the diploma they worked 13+ years for.

Yeah. That makes sense.

Of course, setting up a computer program, informational handouts, guidance handouts, training for teachers, training for administrators, training for staff, etc., to implement this silly idea is going to have a large cost, as well a maintaining it over the years.

That’s costs that will have no discernible effect on graduation rates or the quality of education a student receives in New Mexico.

Then again, it is not really about the education a student receives, is it?

It is about the optics of doing something and claiming the benefits when in fact, there are no benefits.

We wonder if this bill were in effect when Gentry and Ivey-Soto were about to enter into their junior year, if they would have said “I want to go to school to become a lawyer and then a politician so I can be the best liar and misrepresenter if facts that I can be.”

That sounds about right for what they are doing now.

One Response to “Legal Requirement To Plan Your Life – In Eleventh Grade.”

  1. Shannon Skerrett says:

    That is one of the reasons I left, this nanny, no consequence do as I say mentality