Here’s what I think, upgrade the teachers, and add more disciplinary action.
I am in the top high school in my district, and I have had teachers who were awesome and made the kids want to work hard. In that class we were able to get through every chapter in our book, so what would extra school time mean? We can’t really go beyond the end. If all teachers were like the one I had, we wouldn’t be in the lower tier of intellect in the modern world. Well, unless kids started to skip out.
That brings me to my next suggestion.
By the time kids reach the middle of middle school, bleh I know, instead of school security enforcing them, the city police give them disciplinary action. Instead of the usual 1st time is a warning for truancy(LAME!), it should be a house arrest. Then custom jail, where the kids will be forced to get adequate grades to leave, of which they will be placed under house arrest equal to the amount of truancies or mishaps. Adequate as in a C+ or higher. I know kids, I am one, and I know if they try they can get at least that. Plus, getting high and doing drugs and sex would severely go down. Then it will be a two way choice for them, get clever and streetwise, or get clean. That way, we will have those people who can get by using social connections,and those who will work hard.
And I haven’t forgotten about artists, they will be able to get specialization classes such as programming or IT to back up on if the art doesn’t go so well.
Yeah, it sounds a bit of a dick move, but, who knows, it could work.