Earning a diploma from the public schools in the District of Columbia is about to get tougher, under graduation requirements announced last week.
All students, starting with those who enter 9th grade next fall, will be required to take four years each of mathematics, English, social studies, and science, including at least two courses in a laboratory science. Students must also take a minimum of Algebra 1 and geometry.
Students in Washington now must complete four years of English, three years of math and science, and 3½ years of social studies.
The city’s school board approved the tougher requirements late last month, along with a new policy to end social promotions by tying students’ promotion to the next grade to whether they master core skills in the four core subjects.
Superintendent Clifford B. Janey called the new policies critical to his improvement strategy for the 58,000-student system.
Some California districts have in recent years adopted graduation policies that match the minimum subject-area requirements for freshman admission to the prestigious University of California system. While those requirements call for three years of math, all students must take, at a minimum, Algebra 2.
A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2007 edition of Education Week