Graduation Requirements

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Image of people at voting booths.
Social Studies What the Research Says Civics Is About Skills, Not Just Facts. How Do Schools Measure Students' Readiness?
Most state assessments aren't testing how students civically engage in their communities, a new report finds.
Sarah D. Sparks, December 19, 2023
4 min read
Image of attributes of a graduate.
Parker Shatkin for Education Week with iStock/Getty
States More States Are Creating a 'Portrait of a Graduate.' Here's Why
A portrait of a graduate is a guiding document outlining a vision of what it means to be a successful student.
Libby Stanford, December 11, 2023
8 min read
A student looks at questions during a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Md., on Jan. 17, 2016. The SAT exam will move from paper and pencil to a digital format, administrators announced Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, saying the shift will boost its relevancy as more colleges make standardized tests optional for admission.
A student looks at questions during a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Md., on Jan. 17, 2016. More states are looking to abandon high school exit exams as support for standardized testing cools.
Alex Brandon/AP
Assessment More States Could Drop Their High School Exit Exams
There's movement afoot in nearly half the states that still mandate high school exit exams to end the requirement.
Libby Stanford, November 30, 2023
4 min read
Photograph of diverse group of primary school students using laptops in a bright classroom.
Curriculum Computer Science Courses Are on the Rise—But Girls Are Still Half as Likely to Take It
Schools expanded the availability of foundational computer science classes, but stubborn gaps in access to those courses persist.
Alyson Klein, November 1, 2023
4 min read
Photo of boy in classroom with U.S. flag.
E+ / Getty
Social Studies This Popular High School Civics Requirement Doesn’t Boost Voting Habits
More than a dozen states require students to take the U.S. Citizenship exam, but it doesn't seem to boost turnout.
Sarah Schwartz, September 20, 2023
5 min read
Conceptual image of a blackboard with chalk drawings of questions marks to look like lightbulbs and a crumpled piece of paper to signify a lightbulb, idea.
States The Steps Some States Are Taking to Redefine Student Success
"We can’t go back to the way it’s always been done," says the head of the group that represents state education chiefs.
Libby Stanford, August 3, 2023
7 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Assessment Letter to the Editor State Exams Offer Pathways for Some—Not All—Learners
A parent writes a letter to the editor detailing her child's experience with state exams in New York.
April 25, 2023
1 min read
A mastery-based learning program was implemented at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, Conn., by Principal Donna Hayward. Ms. Hayward was named the 2023 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary Principals. The vision of the program, created for graduating seniors, is to ensure all students are prepared for college, career, and civic life through multiple and flexible pathways for learning, including mastery-based systems of accountability for student growth. Principal Hayward, center, stands in the school library with four seniors who completed the program (from left), Abby Jones, 17, of Killingworth, Jack Fergusson, 17, of Haddam, Callen Powers, 17, of Haddam, and Anadalay Garcia, 18, of Higganum.
Principal Donna Hayward, center, and graduating seniors (from left), Abby Jones, Jack Ferguson, Callen Powers, and Anadalay Garcia, said they all learned something from the their state's graduation assessment project. They gathered at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Higganum, Conn., on April 20, 2023.
Christopher Capozziello for Education Week
Assessment Fighting Senioritis? This New Requirement Kept a Graduating Class Engaged
These seniors were the first to test a new state requirement to reflect on what they had learned over four years of high school.
Elizabeth Heubeck, April 21, 2023
6 min read
Senior Brings Rain Demaray works on a computer during a Senior Seminar Class at New Town High School. The course is aimed at having seniors become Choice Ready, a North Dakota state initiative.
North Dakota adopted computer science and cybersecurity standards in 2019. Students must study either cybersecurity or computer science to graduate.
Kristina Barker for Education Week
Curriculum Should Cybersecurity Be a Graduation Requirement? This State Thinks So
North Dakota is requiring all students to study either cybersecurity or computer science content to graduate.
Alyson Klein, April 17, 2023
3 min read
Students attend a robotic class at Mineola High School in Mineola, New York, March 13, 2023.
Students attend a robotics class at Mineola High School in Mineola, N.Y., on March 13, 2023.
Mostafa Bassim for Education Week
Curriculum Few Students Take Computer Science. This District Offers a Blueprint for Changing That
One New York district exposes its students to computer science from prekindergarten through high school.
Alyson Klein, March 27, 2023
10 min read
Photo of high school students taking exam.
Assessment States Have Soured on the High School Exit Exam. Here's Why
The pandemic is one reason, but interest has waned for some time in light of mixed research.
Sarah Schwartz, January 26, 2023
3 min read
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits Harris Academy, in Battersea, London, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak believes students in his country need to spend more time studying math.
Henry Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP
Mathematics Do Students Need Four Years of High School Math?
Most U.S. students take the subject through junior or senior year. Not so in England—and Britain’s prime minister wants to change that.
Sarah Schwartz, January 17, 2023
4 min read