In the PI article yesterday, Offer students more help, state's colleges are urged, is the suggestion that "The state should align high school graduation and college entrance requirements to ease the transition to higher education." As James Sulton, executive director of the HEC Board explains, "there is no clean mesh between what students are told they need to do in order to finish high school and told what they need to do in order to get admitted to college."
In other words, students in Seattle (and elsewhere in Washington state) can finish high school with a diploma and a high grade point average and still be ineligible to apply for entrance as a freshman to a state university because they didn't take the required number of years of English, math or other required coursework.
Many kids who are 15 or 16 years old don't have a clear idea of what they want to do professionaly and whether or not they will eventually want to (or need to) attend a four-year college. We shouldn't let these kids opt out of the required coursework to be considered for college admission.
The UW, WSU, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University, and Evergreen State College all require:
- 4 years of English
- 3 years of Math
- 2 years of Science
- 3 years of Social Studies
- 2 years of a Foreign Language
Schools in Washington state should require the same curricula for a high school diploma. This is one recommendation that Seattle Schools can and should act on without waiting for the state to make decisions about whether or not to implement this Washington Learns recommendation.