Gayle Dudley does a fine job of defending and supporting the Senior Odyssey. What she fails to do is justify why it is a graduation requirement for all students.
It is not credible for Dudley to suggest that Senior Odyssey is comparable to a college prep writing and critical thinking class. If Senior Odyssey was that academically rigorous, then quite a number of seniors would be failing the class. It should be obvious that a student taking Advanced Placement and college classes can pass a high school graduation requirement class without ever taking it seriously.
A graduation requirement should be a minimum, not a maximum. Dudley should look at students such as Laura Claire McKelvie and say, "Take whatever academically rigorous class you want," knowing that Senior Odyssey is not the class that is going to change Ms. McKelvie's life. That class would be quantum mechanics, Sartre, James Joyce, chaos theory or whatever.