Schools now have more guidance from the state around new graduation pathway requirements, after months of discussion with educators and school leaders who have stressed the importance of locally created options for districts.
When the State Board of Education approved new graduation requirements last year, educators shared a lot of concerns. Many questioned how they could meet the new standards – focused largely on career and college readiness and work-based learning experiences – in vastly different schools, and with every student.
At its meeting this month, the board approved a guide to clarify different parts of the new requirements. Board member Byron Ernest, says now schools can use that to shape their plans moving forward.
“Now it’s just a matter of, in all cases, those schools communities coming together and really answering the question what can we create together,” he says.
The recently approved document clears up different questions, and outlines ways for schools to create local pathway options.
“We felt like schools were going to be very creative on this and think of things we couldn’t think of as a panel, so we wanted the opportunity for schools to be able to think outside the box so to speak,” Ernest says.
Many educators and others in the field have said locally created pathways are key to successfully using the new pathways. The state will approve or reject those plans on a rolling basis. New graduation requirements go into effect for incoming high school freshman in 2019.