From a comment by an educational scientist regarding credit recovery:
I will tell you a personal story about a kid who may have described as not bright or whatever you want to call the kid. You see David never said much and was completely unengaged with school. When I met him he was close to 2 years behind grade level. He came from a poor family etc. I met David on a whim when he walked by my classroom and saw that I had a computer in pieces on a desk and was trying to figure out what was wrong. He asked me a couple of probing questions so I asked if he knew how to fix it and he said he could try. I left him there with what was basically trash and when I came back I had a working computer. You see David was a prodigy of sorts, with Credit Retrieval & recovery we got David out of school in 2 years and into college where he is studying computer science. I can go on & on about students who have succeeded at the highest levels of achievement based on tapping into something that caught their interest and using that as a hook to drive them to those high levels of achievement. David might have been written off by some people, but David just needed a reason to see why he needed to get a high school diploma and go to college. He was now motivated.
David sounds wonderful and what you did for him is wonderful as well.
A child as wonderful as David really does deserved a second chance, a real second chance, a second chance that would have involved a real education, not just a rush to collect necessary credits.
If we really want to help kids like David, we need to stop insisting that kids like him graduate high school in four years. Some of them need more time to grow up. Abel, a student in one of my classes is currently going to night school as well as day school. He is not studying or doing homework because he is too tired when he gets home. He will not graduate because he cannot physically do the work. And, if he does manage to somehow get seat time, he still will know next to nothing. June, another student is taking two English classes. Her reading is poor and she cannot read two books at once.
So, Mr. Educational Scientist, while I suspect your heart is in the right place, I believe your thought process is not. If we give the kids the opportunity to stay in high school an extra year, we will be doing kids like David a much great service. I look forward to reading your thoughts.
(Comments on the other parts of the response to follow at some later date.)