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State seeks input on future high school graduation requirements

A student walks down a hallway at Hilton High School.
A student walks down a hallway at Hilton High School.

Over the next few months, New York state education leaders will start reconsidering what students should learn to earn a high school diploma.

It's the beginning of a long process that likely won’t end until the spring or summer of 2024.

Finger Lakes-area state Regents Ruth Turner and Wade Norwood are hosting a virtual feedback session on Wednesday night. Registrations are closed after 200 people signed up to take part maxing out their capacity. Turner said Wednesday that they’re considering a wide range of possibilities that will affect every public-school student.

“So really what kind of course requirements or exams that would be an indication that students are ready for college, career or civic engagement,” Turner said.

The discussion is centered on the following questions:

  • What do we want all students to know and to be able to do before they graduate?
  • How do we want all students to demonstrate such knowledge and skills, while capitalizing on their cultures, languages, and experiences?
  • How do you measure learning and achievement (as it pertains to the answers to #2 above) to ensure they are indicators of high school completion while enabling opportunities for all students to succeed?
  • How can measures of achievement accurately reflect the skills and knowledge of our special populations, such as students with disabilities and English language learners?
  • What course requirements or examinations will ensure that all students are prepared for college, careers, and civic engagement?

Turner said the state education department is listening to community members, teachers, and activists across the state, but she said she’s most interested in hearing from students.
“The system is designed with them in mind, right?” Turner continued. “What kind of education do they get? What kind of educational experience should they have? And too often we don’t look at them as true partners in the educational process.”

The New York State Education Department is taking comments online here. Links to the live stream are below:

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.