|These are not 6th graders.|
At the risk of sounding like a terrible parent, I was not all that eager to go to my daughter's 6th grade graduation. This was her second graduation ceremony already; the first was at the end of preschool. That was another ridiculous graduation, in my opinion. To me, graduation should be reserved for the end of high school. A person should celebrate that one monumental event in their school career -- the culmination of 12 years of education. To me, graduating high school is an achievement, and marks a rite of passage into adulthood. But finishing 6th grade? Was there really any question?
I didn't have a 6th grade graduation. I didn't even go to preschool, so no celebration there either. But I did walk across the stage for my diploma at the end of high school and again after college. It seemed like those meant something.
I'm of the belief that by diluting graduation down into several graduations, you take away its meaning. It should be a final achievement, not one in a series of events. Not that I didn't love seeing my daughter walk across the stage to get her certificate of completion. But if there hadn't been a 6th grade graduation ceremony, my life would have been just as complete.
Then I started to wonder -- is there some benefit to having students take part in a graduation ceremony at 6th grade? Does it perhaps motivate them to continue on with their education because they have enjoyed a feeling of accomplishment? I wonder.
Now I'd like to know whether there's any correlation between the high school graduation rates of those who also celebrated 6th grade graduation ceremonies and those who didn't. Perhaps it can provide an impetus for those students who might be at risk for not graduating high school. Or maybe not. Maybe for those students, a 6th grade graduation was good enough?
What do you think?