Major changes in the works for graduation requirements for Colorado K-12

The Denver Post is reporting that an advisory group is recommending major changes to graduation requirements for high school.  After reading the article multiple times, I must admit that I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the proposed changes.

On the positive side:

  • The requirements supposedly better align with our higher ed entrance requirements.
  • The requirements account for the fact that not everyone can or should have a one-size-fits-all approach for graduation.  People do have different interests and want different things out of life.  Allowing them to spend time learning what matters to them and to still be able to graduate is probably a good thing.

On the negative side:

  • Fundamentally challenging students less seems like a bad idea.
  • I feel that a basic fluency in science benefits all people.  That would be eliminated under the current proposal.
  • This would give school districts easy approaches to improve graduation rates vs. improving the education of students.  Should these changes be implemented, there needs to be in place mechanisms to ensure that districts don’t take the easy way out and make their graduation rates look better to the detriment of our students.  This could happen at a district and/or school level.

It’s obviously a very complex issue with no single right answer, and I’m sure we will hear more about it as the advisory committee finalizes its recommendations.

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