When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to get out. The thought of a Grade 13 would have been septic. But today's data is so discomposing, with too many students who enter college needing remedial courses the first year just to catch up.

Granted, an optional Grade 13 isn't for everyone. Some students do have the intellectual and emotional maturity to make it, but so many others are simply too immature to make it successfully through college.

It's expensive to educate our students every year. Take whatever the figure is and multiply it by 12. If the student fails to get a college degree to measure up adequately in the real world, then Houston, we've got a problem.

Of course, the question remains as to where the money is going to come from for funding the 13th grade? Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if the student isn't making it the way the design is now, what good is it in the long run if they can't compete with others from across the nation or around the world? Add to the problem that nearly half of the students who go from Grade 12 into college don't graduate within six years.

I think It's time to consider if we want our college-bound students to be college-ready, then it's worth talking about advancing a Grade 13.

Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, unless you're unrealistic, you must admit that the American K-12 system, for a country as rich as ours, is underperforming and could use a creative disruption.

Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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