|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 16 June 2010 01:00|
Currently, the state of Arizona requires a minimum of 20 credits to graduate, including four English credits, two math credits and two science credits.
The state is set to raise those requirements gradually for the classes of 2012 and 2013, phasing in additional math, science and social studies credits.
Regardless of what the state does beyond that, the local class of 2014 will need 23 credits to qualify for a diploma, said.
The measure, now that it’s official, is designed to keep students in the classroom and eliminate any confusion over what’s expected of them.
“This way there’s no gray area,” Weir said.
In addition, high school seniors will be required to attend class at least five periods a day, Weir said.
“Some students leave after lunch,” Weir said. “They either go home or hang around unsupervised.”
Keeping students in class at least five periods will cut down on this side effect, a result of students having enough credits to graduate without putting in a full day.
Weir acknowledged some students have jobs and need to work. In those cases, working students can attend the school’s early-morning “zero” period, which will still count toward the five periods required each day.
This is actually already being done with the senior class, Weir said, but once again, having the new graduation requirements will cut down on arguments about how long they have to be in school versus what the state requires of them to graduate.
School Board President Tim Roth said it makes sense to phase in the new graduation requirements with the class of 2014, students who will be starting as freshmen in the upcoming school year.
Weir said it wouldn’t be fair to students already in high school to change requirements after they’ve started school with an expectation of what they have to do.
Weir said he didn’t think the new requirements would pose a problem for parents of students.
“We already have community support for this,” Weir said.