Knee-jerk reaction detected! Didn't RTFA to boot! No wonder slashdot's moderators love you!
That's not what he's saying at all, but the poorly worded
First period: Science (Bio, Chem, Physics)
Second period: Math (Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Pre-Calc)
Third period: History (Civics, Western Civ, US History 1 and 2)
Fourth period: Foreign Language
Fifth period: English
Sixth period: Lunch
Seventh period: Gym/Phys Ed
Eighth period: Elective
This was the setup at my high school. That meant every year, we were guaranteed at least one electives. Some students ditched lunch for a second. Some students wasted their elective to take a study hall.
Now keep in mind, state requirements vary. I'd finished my foreign language requirement after sophomore year, giving me an extra elective for my junior and senior years. I also took some BS introductory courses in science and math, and if I hadn't, I could have not had needed to take them senior year, or taken advanced placement classes instead.
And this doesn't include the imaginary Ninth period, which was used for detention, tutoring, extra-curricular activities (non-sports), and even a few classes (I remember our JROTC could be done 9th period). And this is before the sports programs started.
Maybe this is the exception to the rule, but if it is, looks like something was done right in NJ for a change.