Secondary School Reform in Connecticut
The State Department of Education has begun the process to reform Connecticut's secondary schools and bring to students new supports, new experiences and more rigorous graduation requirements.
Facts about High School Education
Key Elements of the Reform
Why Secondary School Reform Must Be Comprehensive Reform including Student Engagement, Rigor, Student Support, and Improved Learning Environment:
surveys by Public Agenda, Inc. have found that most parents believe their child is doing all right in school. Nearly seven in 10 believe their child will have the skills needed to succeed in college, and six in 10 say their child is getting a better education than they did.
Parents certainly don't think their local schools are flawless. They support efforts to increase math and science courses (67 percent) and say it's "crucial for today's students to learn higher level math skills" (62 percent).
But their biggest concern isn't academics. It's social problems and student behavior
. When asked about the most pressing problem facing local high schools, 73 percent of the parents said "social problems and kids who misbehave" compared to only 15 percent who said "low academic standards." Low income parents are even more concerned. Nearly three-quarters worry "a lot" about protecting their kids from drugs and alcohol, compared to 56 percent who worry a lot about low quality public schools.
So solving the math and science problem means addressing both types of concerns about what goes on in school: growing tomorrow's scientists and keeping an eye on how they behave. Because there's no way of solving this math and science equation unless everyone gets on the same page.
Student Success Plans
Comprehensive Student Support Systems
What Other States are Doing
Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C. that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments and strengthen accountability.
NEW COLORADO STANDARDS FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND WORKFORCE READINESS — The Colorado State Board of Education and the state’s Higher Education Commission took broad steps toward aligning secondary and post-secondary education standards. The move was made as part of a three-year transformation of Colorado’s education system that will also include a new testing system to evaluate students’ knowledge of the standards, possible elimination of the Colorado Student Assessment Program, and altering high school diplomas to include an honors diploma that indicates college prep courses taken by students. Detailed standards for each grade are also expected to be adopted by the State Board of Education by the end of the year. Source: Denver Post (7/1/2009)
It’s an exciting time for education reform in Delaware and across the nation. The planets are aligned. The time is right.
Reform in the middle grades has led to the increased interest in high school reform.
It's Now Tougher To Graduate from High School in Florida
Governor Charlie Crist signed Senate Bill 4, which requires students to take more difficult math and science courses and pass new end-of-course exams to earn high-school diplomas. The new requirements will be phased in starting with next year’s 9th graders. Eventually, students will need to take and pass geometry, algebra 2, biology, and chemistry or physics. Students also will have to take and pass end-of-course exams in algebra 1, geometry and biology to get credit for the course. The new exams will be used to judge both students and schools. (Orlando Sentinel, 04/20/10)
Task Force Recommends Integration of 21st Century Skills Throughout K12 System
To ensure Michigan's students have the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of the 21st Century global economy, on April 20, 2006, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed into law a rigorous new set of statewide graduation requirements that are among the best in the nation.
Graduation Requirements - A proposal for new high school graduation requirements has been approved by the New Jersey state board. The proposal includes the phase-in of additional requirements in mathematics, science and economics, and financial literacy. Following a 60-day public comment period, the updated graduation requirements could receive final passage as early as June.
MEASURES TOUGHEN GRAD REQUIREMENTS, CUTS THIRD-GRADE EXAM
— Gov. Rick Perry approved a new accountability system for Texas schools that includes tougher graduation requirements, new college-readiness indicators, eliminates a mandate that 3rd graders had to pass the state's TAKS test to be promoted, and changed the state's quality rankings of schools. In addition, the legislation eliminates the requirement that school districts must spend 65 percent of their operating budgets on classroom instruction. Source: Education Week (6/26/09)
Board of Education Adds Graduation Benchmark to High School Accreditation Standards - New Accountability Requirement Effective in 2011-2012 School Year
The 2010 Connecticut General Assembly has adopted legislation that will increase graduation requirements in Connecticut public schools beginning with the Class of 2018. The new law increases the minimum credits required from 20 to 25 and gives greater emphasis to math, science and world language, and requires every student to complete a “capstone project.” The legislation also calls for increased supports for students to help them to succeed in the classroom and to graduate on time. For details please review pdf document. [PDF]
Presentation from March 16, 2010 Board Examination Systems Meeting