Massachusetts students would be required to stay in school until age 18 ... , part of a broader effort to halve the state’s high school dropout rate.
This is a terrible idea.
The best path for many 16-17 year olds is not high school but vocational tech, apprenticehip, or even a minimum wage job. Additional schooling is good for some 16-17 year olds; that does not mean it is good for everyone.
A higher dropout age will in any case do little to keep students in school; many already drop out before legally permitted because enforcement is lax, and the resources to enforce an even higher age would be substantial. Those resources are better employed serving the students who want to be in school.
Students forced to stay in school, moreover, especially at ages 16-17, can be disruptive or even dangerous to other students.
The right policy change, therefore, is to lower the dropout age, or even eliminate it. Raising it to 18 will waste resources and reduce school quality for those who want to learn.