When I think of a 5th year senior, my imagination conjures up a college football player, red shirted for a year to gather more maturity for the sport. Never ever do I see the high school student graduating as a fifth year senior. But lookee here. New Bedford high school is not only graduating kids in their fifth year, the school department lauds this accomplishment with a press release stating, "New Bedford High School increases 2015 five year graduation rate." The state department of Ed. is doing the same. Who's in bed with whom?

The schools position this, in conjunction with the drop-out rate going down 2.9% compared to 2014. What the department minimizes is that the original four year (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) rate is down 0.6%.

Shouldn't your precious tax dollars be supporting a higher four year graduation rate?

Another sign that government education is big business. Five year graduation rates have been calculated by the state since 2007. Imagine that. So, now the state is ramming full-day pre-school and fifth year seniors. How much is that going to cost us?

And another question: how many of the NBHS fifth year seniors could have graduated in 4 years, if, IF they passed MCAS as a sophomore, junior or senior?

Maybe we should seriously mount a statewide campaign to have the Certificate of Completion weighted as an equivalent of the diploma minus MCAS!

Comment below and on today's BRIAN'S BEAT, 10AM-Noon, on New Bedford's News Talk Station.