Friday, October 07, 2005

Missouri News: New high school graduation requirements

Officials approve changes to conform to college admissions standards

State Board of Education has approved new and tougher minimum requirements for high school graduation that apply to all of Missouri’s public schools.

The new policy applies to members of the Class of 2010. Students who are now in eighth grade must plan their schedules for next year (2006-07) and the remainder of their high school careers based on the new standards.

"All students – and we emphasize ALL – need more knowledge and skills to be successful in today’s economy and in the workforce of tomorrow," said Commissioner of Education D. Kent King. King has advocated the adoption of more rigorous high school standards for more than a year.

"While the new graduation requirements put more emphasis on the core academic areas, they still allow enough flexibility for students to pursue their interests in the arts, foreign language, or career-oriented courses. Kids still need to be able to make choices and explore their interests in high school," King said.

The new standards raise the minimum number of credits needed to graduate to 24. The current requirement is 22 units. Students will be required to earn four units in English and three units each in the areas of math, science and social studies. This represents an increase of one full unit in each of the four core academic areas.

In addition, the new standards require a half-unit course in "personal finance" and a half-unit course in health education. For more information, click here. A story also appears in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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