Arizona Council Carves Out Solid Niche in Rocky Ground
One education issue—high school graduation requirements—may best illustrate the successes of Arizona’s P-20 council and the obstacles that this high-powered panel faces in trying to bridge the gap between the state’s precollegiate and higher education systems.
Faced with a disappointing graduation rate and calls from the business community for schools to do a better job of preparing students for college and the workplace, the potentially unwieldy group of 39 of Arizona’s most powerful political, business, and community leaders set out in summer 2006 to stiffen the requirements for earning a diploma.
It took nearly two years, but the P-20 council managed to do just that. Beginning with the high school freshmen of 2009, students will need four years of math and three years of science to graduate. Just two years of...
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