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Opinions on five-year high school

The idea of building an optional fifth year into high school, which Chicago plans to do next school year, got a national airing this summer. Sandra Feldman, president of the American Federation of Teachers, advocated it at the union’s July convention as a way to stem dropouts. One other city where the AFT represents teachers, Rochester, N.Y., already was planning a five- year program that would allow students to take fewer classes for longer periods of time. The Rochester school system enrolls about 37,500 students and has a 45 percent dropout.