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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Increasing High School Requirements

An article in the news today, High Schools Raise Diploma Requirements, discusses both the reasons for increasing high school graduation requirements, and some of the concerns that have been raised about the idea. Our neighbor to the south, Oregon, is considering such a move.
Oregon is the latest state to consider action in a nationwide movement to raise graduation requirements after a speech Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates gave to the nation's governors in 2005. Students were leaving high school with diplomas, Gates said, but without the skills needed to succeed in college or the workforce.

I want to see this idea debated in Washington state. With Christine Gregoire's proposed increases in education funding, it seems like a good time to push a proposal for change that would align high school graduation and college entrance requirements.

The Higher Education Coordinating Board is discussing the idea, as mentioned in a November Seattle PI article. And, according to comments on this blog (see Align High School Graduation Requirements with College Entrance Requirements), the Center School and Nathan Hale High School in Seattle have already made this change. One parent reported that:
This was actually a key part of Hale's education reform over the past ten years, and is a requirement for all students, not just those considered high achieving. Interestingly, Hale also has the highest correlation between high school GPA and UW GPA of any of the traditional Seattle Public High Schools. Over the past five years parents have had to fund more and more of the program to allow this to happen.

Are there any other high schools in Seattle that have either made this change or are considering it?

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