Dover, Del. - June 15, 2006 The Committee on High School Graduation Requirements has completed its work and has released its report and recommendations. The Committee has recommended increasing graduation requirements and rigor for the classes graduating in 2011 and beyond as follows:
- 4 credits in English Language Arts (with an emphasis on reading, literature, writing, presentation and communication skills, reasoning, logic, and technical writing)
- 4 credits of Mathematics (including skills equivalent to Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry). One math credit must be taken in the student's senior year.
- 3 credits of Laboratory Science (including skills equivalent to Physical/Earth Science, Chemistry, and Biology)
- 3 credits of Social Studies (including skills encompassing the core areas of history, geography, civics, and economics)
- 2 credits of World Language (Effective: August 1, 2009 for graduates in 2013)
- 1 credit of Physical Education; ½ credit of Health Education
- 3 credits in a Career Pathway
- 3½ Elective credits
Mrs. Jean Allen, Chair of the Committee and President of the State Board of Education, noted that the effect of the recommendations is an increase in the course rigor and expectations for high school students. In addition all students will be required to take four credits of math, one of which must be taken in their senior year. The committee is recommending that the computer literacy credit which is now required for graduation become a requirement to be met by the end of middle school. Furthermore, beginning with the classes to graduate in 2013 and beyond, there will be a world language requirement, the details of which are still to be determined. The committee is recommending that a statewide taskforce be established to make recommendations for the implementation of the world language requirement and other issues related to world language instruction in Delaware's schools.
"These requirements are essential to the success of our students as they move forward to post-secondary education or the work force. They will prepare Delaware high school graduates to enter the global economy and become productive citizens in a democratic society," Mrs. Allen stated.
The Committee is also recommending that seniors be required to enroll in more than half of the class time available under the school's scheduling system. While the Committee has deferred to the districts to determine the exact method for enrolling seniors, the requirement is that all students must be completing credits in additional core courses, Advanced Placement or college classes, a senior project, a formal work/study program, community service, or another academic pursuit.
It is the recommendation of the Committee that student progress be monitored each marking period to ensure that they are successfully completing the English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies courses. If a student is not progressing satisfactorily, the committee recommends that supports be put in place immediately to allow the student to successfully complete the course. If the situation does not improve, additional measures will be taken, including revisions to the student's Individual Learning Plan (ILP), parental conferences, summer school, and the option of a 5th year of high school.
The Committee was formed in September 2005 and includes representatives from the Department of Education, the State Board, district superintendents, high school principals, teacher representatives, school board members, community and business groups, and higher education. Restoring the value of the high school diploma is one of the goals or Delaware's Honor Grant awarded by the National Governor's Association.
A complete copy of the report is available online at:
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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