NEWS: School Board Seeking Comment on Revised Graduation Requirements

The DC Board of Education wrote ANC Commissioners to solicit public feedback on the proposed revised graduation requirements.  Here is the message from the Board, in full:

The DC State Board of Education wishes to solicit feedback from Commissioners on its recently released high school graduation requirements proposal. The proposal is attached and also available on our website, www.sboe.dc.gov.

Graduation requirements help us ensure that all high school students leave our schools well-prepared for college and the workplace. Overall, the State Board sought to strike a balance between traditional classroom learning – the acquisition of knowledge – and skills that students can creatively and critically apply in the real world. At the same time, this is a transitional document. The DCSBOE recognizes that time-in-seat is not an accurate measure of academic attainment, nor whether a student has acquired the skills they need to succeed. Consequently, our recommendation reflects an interest in moving towards a competency-based system – where the focus of a student’s education is on achieving specifc skills that may be aquired through learning or performance outside the classroom.

Over the next month, we encourage you to review the proposal and transmit comments and suggestions on the proposal to sboe@dc.gov. The Board seeks specific answers on a few key questions, including:

1)      Overall, do the set of graduation requirements reflect what is needed for preparation for college, career and citizenship?

2)      Should additional units be included? If so, in what subject? Please explain your reasoning.

3)      Should credits be reduced, combined or eliminated? If so, in what subject/s? Please explain your reasoning.

4)      The Board is considering adopting a “diploma of distinction,” where high school students, through additional coursework that goes above and beyond the current credit requirements may be recommended for this distinguished diploma. If the Board is to propose such a diploma, what should it include?

5)      Should one unit/course be taken online, as some states now require?

6)      Are there subjects or skills that should be required, such as civics, personal finance, teamwork, or communications?

If you are interested in testifying before the DC SBOE, the next Public Meeting will be held on January 23, 2013 at 5:30pm.

Individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to comment at the meeting are asked to notify DCSBOE staff in advance by phone at (202) 741-0888 or by email at sboe@dc.gov and furnish their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and organizational affiliation, if any, by the close of business the Monday prior to the meeting. They should also bring fifteen (15) copies of their written statements with them to the meeting and are encouraged to submit one (1) electronic copy in advance.

If you should have any questions, please contact the DCSBOE at sboe@dc.gov or at 202.741.0888.

Jesse B Rauch
Executive Director
D.C. State Board of Education
441 4th Street NW, Suite 723N
Washington, DC 20001
o: 202-741-0888
d: 202-741-0884
f: 202-741-0879
jesse.rauch@dc.gov
www.sboe.dc.gov