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School District U-46 Academic Success for All. State Graduation Requirements. A Report to the Superintendent and Board of Education. U-46 Graduation Requirements 3 Years of Language Arts 2 Years of Mathematics 2 Years Unspecificed 2 Years of Science 1 Year of Biology 1 Year Unspecified

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state graduation requirements

State Graduation Requirements

A Report to the Superintendent and Board of Education

comparison u 46 vs isbe graduation requirements
U-46 Graduation Requirements

3 Years of Language Arts

2 Years of Mathematics

2 Years Unspecificed

2 Years of Science

1 Year of Biology

1 Year Unspecified

2 Years of Social Studies

1 Year of U.S. History

1 Semester of Civics

1 Semester of Economics

1 Year Chosen from any of the Following:

Art

Music

Foreign Language

Vocational Education

1 Semester of Health

7 Semesters of Physical Education

NewGraduation Requirements*

4 Years of Language Arts

3 Years of Mathematics

1 Year of Algebra I

1 Year of a Course Containing Geometry Content

2 Years of Science

2 Years Unspecified

2 Years of Social Studies

1 Year of U.S. History or a Combination of U.S. History & American Government

1 Year Chosen from any of the Following:

Art

Music

Foreign Language

Vocational Education

2 Years of Writing Intensive Courses

* These requirements reflect the changes in the state requirements—they either add to or increase the requirements of U-46. Requirements in column 1 not reflected in column 2 remain the same.

Comparison – U-46 vs ISBE Graduation Requirements
state graduation requirement phase in schedule
State Graduation Requirement Phase-in Schedule
  • Students entering high school as 9th graders in the 2005-2006 school year:
    • Meet current state requirements plus
      • 1 additional year of mathematics
  • Students entering high school as 9th graders in the 2006-2007 school year:
    • Meet current state requirements plus
      • 1 additional year of mathematics (Algebra I and Geometry)
      • 2 years of writing intensive courses
  • Students entering high school as 9th graders in the 2007-2008 school year:
    • Meet current state requirements plus
      • 1 additional year of mathematics (Algebra I and Geometry)
      • 2 years of writing intensive courses
      • 1 additional year of science
  • Students entering high school as 9th graders in the 2008-2009 school year:
    • Meet current state requirements plus
      • 1 additional year of mathematics (Algebra I and Geometry)
      • 2 years of writing intensive courses
      • 1 additional year of science
      • 1 additional year of English
conforming to the new state standards
Conforming to the New State Standards
  • CAC Graduation Requirements Committee
    • Served in a Liaison Role Between the District Committee and the Community
  • District Graduation Requirements Committee
    • Study the Potential Impact of the New ISBE Requirements on the District
    • Make Specific Recommendations to the Superintendent and the Board of Education
  • Philosophy-Driven Decisions
    • What do we believe about education?
      • All Children can Succeed—Failure is not an Option
    • What should we expect of our students, staff and parents?
      • Significant Developmental Work Needs to be Done in the areas of Curriculum and Instruction
        • Higher Expectations and Rigor Need to be the Watchwords as we Develop Curriculum
        • Staff Needs the Support Necessary to Facilitate Learning at Higher Levels
        • Support Systems and Interventions Need to be Considered as Expectations and Rigor are increased.
      • Our Parents and Community Need to Play a More Active Role in the Education of our Children
      • All Children Need to be in School—Late Arrival and Early Release is Sending the Wrong Message to Students and Parents
slide6

Research to Support an Environment of Higher Expectations and High Academic StandardsRising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work? A Study of Recent High School Graduates, College Instructors, and Employers; February, 2005; Peter D. Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies

  • Fewer than one quarter of high school graduates feel that they were significantly challenged and faced high expectations in order to graduate.
  • Four in five college students (82% and non-students (80%) said that they would have worked harder if their high school had demanded more of students, set higher academic standards and raised expectations of how much course work and studying would be necessary to earn a diploma.
  • 56% of all college students said that high school left them unprepared for the work and study habits expected in college.
  • 46% of high school graduates said there are gaps in preparation for the skills and abilities that they believe they would need for the jobs they hope to get in the future.
  • Employers estimate that 46% of high school graduates who apply at their company are inadequately prepared for the work habits they will need on the job, 40% are inadequately prepared in math and 38% are inadequately prepared for the quality of writing that is expected.
  • College instructors estimate that 42% of high school graduates are not adequately prepared by their high school education for the expectations of college classes and are struggling or having to take remedial courses to catch up.
  • More than nine in ten (94%) college students believe that providing opportunities to take more challenging courses such as honors, AP, or IB classes would improve their preparation for life after graduation.
cac district committee issues
CAC/District Committee Issues

Issue #1

Communication of Graduation Requirements to Students, Staff, Parents and Community

Issue #2

Implementation of First-Year Algebra I/II Requirement

Issue #3

Implementation of Third-Year Math Requirement

Issue #4

Implementation of Fourth-Year English Requirement

Issue #5

Implementation of Two-Year Writing Intensive Requirement

Issue #6

Consider Increasing the Number of Credits Required for Graduation

Issue #7

Consider Graduation Standards that are Higher and More Rigorous than the New State Requirements

slide8

Recommendation on Issue #1: Communication of graduation requirements to students, parents, staff, community.In collaboration with the CAC graduation requirements subcommittee, it was recommended that communication of the new requirements would be channeled through the CAC subcommittee.

Rationale:

  • The CAC subcommittee would serve as a liaison between the district subcommittee and the community. From the community perspective the CAC subcommittee would provide input to the district committee as well as communicating district committee work to the community.
slide9

Recommendation on Issue #2:Implementation of 1st year Algebra 1-2 requirement.All freshmen in U-46 high schools will enroll in Algebra 1-2 beginning with the 2006-2007 school year with appropriate support/interventions to be successful.

Rationale:

  • Prior to the passage of P.A. 94-0676, the district had made a commitment to extend the Algebra 1-2 requirement to all freshmen in U-46 high schools. Without Algebra 1-2 in the freshman year, students would never learn all of the math standards that are needed to be successful on the Prairie State Exam nor would they have the level of math proficiency to be successful in college math or in the workplace. The current third year math recommendation for the regular track is consumer math, for college preparatory it is Algebra 3-4 and for honors it is pre-calculus.
slide10

Recommendation on Issue #3: Implementation of 3rd year math requirement.All students will take a third year math requirement that is equivalent to or higher than Algebra 3-4 with appropriate support/interventions to be successful.

Rationale:

  • Students need the content of Algebra 3-4 to be prepared for the PSAE, ACT and college entrance exams. Citing the Peter D. Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies report referenced above, college students who took Algebra 3-4 or higher level math courses in high school are more than twice as likely to feel prepared for the math they are expected to do in college (60% felt well prepared) than students who did not take Algebra 3-4 (26%). In another study, The Expectations Gap, conducted for Achieve, Inc. the following information was cited:
    • Taking a rigorous high school curriculum that includes math at least through Algebra 3-4 cuts the gap in college completion rates between white students and African American and Latino students in half.
    • College professors and employers agree that to be successful beyond high school, graduates should have mastered the content typically taught in a rigorous four-year course sequence of Algebra 1-2, Geometry and Algebra 3-4, as well as data analysis and statistics.
  • In his 1999 study, Clifford Adelman found that “of all the components of curriculum intensity and quality, none has such an obvious and powerful relationship to ultimate completion of degrees as the highest level of mathematics one studies in high school.” Indeed, Adelman reports that the higher the level of math students take in high school, the more likely they are to earn bachelor’s degrees and that the threshold is a substantive course beyond Algebra II.
  • A mathematics task force will be convened to study support systems and interventions that need to be considered to insure our students’ success in our three-year mathematics sequence.
slide11

Recommendation on Issue #4: Implementation of 4th year English requirement.All students will take a fourth year of English that will follow a sequential plan to be determined by a district Language Arts curricular team.

Rationale:

  • This issue is related to Issue #5 below. An intra-district Language Arts team would be convened for several purposes. First, agreement would be reached on a four-year sequence of courses that would meet the four-year English requirement as required by the state. Second, an aligned and consistent District U-46 Language Arts curriculum would be developed. Third, identification and development of Language Arts courses to meet the state’s writing intensive rubric.
slide12

Recommendation on Issue #5: Implementation of two-year writing requirement.Rather than considering adding courses to our curriculum, it is recommended that our current Language Arts curriculum be studied for two purposes. First, to identify those courses that currently meet the state rubric for a writing intensive course. Second, to determine which Language Arts courses could meet the two-year writing intensive requirement if the curriculum was modified to conform to the state rubric.

Rationale:

  • One year of the two-year writing intensive requirement must be a Language Arts course. Although the second year of the two-year requirement may be fulfilled through a Language Arts course, it may also be fulfilled by a year-long course in another discipline that meets the state’s definition of a writing intensive course.
  • Our district will be undergoing a curriculum alignment project that will be multi-faceted. Reading, writing and mathematics will be given priority status. As such, it was felt that, notwithstanding other courses in the curriculum that may meet the state writing rubric in the future, we should identify a minimum of two Language Arts courses from which students could choose to satisfy the new graduation requirement. As other curricular areas are aligned and developed, students will have a wider array of courses from which to choose to satisfy this requirement.
slide13

Recommendation on Issue #6: Increase the number of credits required for graduation or leave at 40.It is recommended that the number of credits required for graduation be increased to 44.

Rationale:

  • Many feel that our students are not being challenged with the rigor needed to be successful in college or in a career. We are sending the wrong message to students when they feel they can acquire the minimum number of credits needed for graduation with minimum effort. We are sending the wrong message to students when they can elect an early release or late arrival. We will be sending the correct message when expectations and rigor are raised in all curricular areas. We will be sending the correct message when we require a greater number of courses that will prepare them to be successful in college or a career.
  • 73% (24 LUDA districts) require more than 20 credits for graduation (comparable to 40 credits in U-46). 67% (22 LUDA districts) require 22 or more credits for graduation (comparable to 44 credits in U-46).
  • A majority of our students from the past two years have been earning 44+ credits.
slide14

Recommendation on Issue #7: Should consideration be given to graduation standards that are higher and more rigorous than the new state requirements?The committee recommendation is to not consider higher graduation requirements at this point in time. It was felt that the current state mandates are going to require a considerable amount of time and many resources. It would be advisable to resolve the mandated issues before any other considerations.