On Thursday, the state Board of Education rejected a proposal to change the state graduation requirements adopted in 2013. This is the first set of consistent requirements applicable to the entire state and go into effect with the class of 2021.
The proposed revisions included eliminating science and social studies as graduation requirements. The logic was alignment with college admissions requirements, which do not typically include science and social studies.
In my volunteer work with Jeffco Public Schools, the ~65 community leaders who helped develop the vision of the model student were very vocal about the importance of these subjects. Furthermore, it is the writer’s opinion that eliminating these subjects as requirements would be doing our students a terrible disservice.
The state BOE should be well aware that most students do NOT go on to college and that we need to prepare our students for many different paths upon graduation. Elimination of these subjects should not be done on the basis of college admissions, since that affects the minority of our student population. It is only this minority of students who would have the opportunity to pick up these subjects in college. What about the majority of graduates?
Although this and other changes were rejected by the state BOE, it was not for concern about watering down graduation requirements, rather, it was for concern by rural districts about the investment costs of the alternatives being proposed.
It is unfortunate that the state BOE is willing to eliminate two important subjects from graduation requirements. The state BOE has said that although the revisions were rejected this time, the discussion is not yet done. Here’s hoping that future discussion will not result in elimination of these subjects from our graduation requirements. We should be setting the bar higher, not lower.
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