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State Education Department presents new vision for high school graduation requirements

This stock images shows a graduation ceremony.
Sengchoy Inthachack/EduLife Photos
Adobe Stock
This stock image shows a graduation ceremony.

New York state is pushing forward with a vision to change graduation requirements.

The state education department has presented four key ‘transformations’ to what’s required for high schoolers to graduate.

One is to adopt new criteria called the ‘portrait of a graduate’ which means students would have to demonstrate proficiency in areas like critical thinking, cultural competency and social-emotional competency.

Another is to add credit requirements in financial literacy and career and technology education. There would also no longer be a Regents diploma. Regents' exams would still be offered but a passing grade would not be required to graduate.

“The bold vision we are advancing today is a direct result of countless hours of collaborative work from an incredibly diverse group of expert practitioners and the public,” Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said in a statement. “It takes an incredible amount of time, work, and collaborative effort to transform an education system, and we will not stop working until we get the job done right for all New Yorkers.”

The state education department will hold public forums between July and October for feedback on the proposed changes. After that, the department is scheduled to present an implementation plan and timeline to the Board of Regents in November.

“From the very beginning of this effort, I have urged people to understand that our work is about raising the bar for all," said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester Young in a statement. “True equity and excellence in education is achievable – but only if we provide all students with meaningful educational opportunities and multiple avenues for them to demonstrate their mastery of the State’s rigorous learning standards.”

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.