Happening Today: Education Week Leadership Symposium. Learn more and register.
College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup

Few States Require Rigorous Courses for Graduation

By Liana Loewus — October 27, 2015 1 min read

High school graduation rates in the United States have hit historic highs, with the most recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Education showing that more than 80 percent of students from the class of 2013 graduated on time.

But a new analysis finds that the level of coursework needed to earn a high school diploma differs from state to state.

And just four states—Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee—and the District of Columbia require students to complete college- and career-ready-level courses in math and English/language arts to graduate, according to the report released earlier this month by the nonprofit Achieve.

The group, which played a key role in launching the Common Core State Standards initiative, looked at 93 diploma options from across the states and the District of Columbia for the class of 2014. All states have adopted college- and career-ready standards, the report notes. (Forty-four states and D.C. are using the common-core standards, while the rest are using state-adopted benchmarks.)

But 20 of those states do not offer a diploma that requires students to complete college- and career-ready-level-courses, the report says. The analysis considers graduation requirements “college- and career-ready-level” if students have to take a course of study aligned to the college- and career-ready standards, including at least three years of math, generally through Algebra 2, and four of “rigorous, grade-level” English.

In 26 states, students can choose from multiple diploma options, including a college- and career-ready path, according to the analysis. And just nine of those states publicly report the percentage of students who graduated with the college- and career-ready coursework.

A version of this article appeared in the October 28, 2015 edition of Education Week as Few States Require Rigorous Courses for Graduation

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Fewer Students in Class of 2020 Went Straight to College
First-year college enrollment dropped steeply last year, a study finds, and the declines were sharpest among poorer students.
6 min read
Image shows University Application Acceptance Notification Letter with ACCEPTED Stamp
YinYang/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor Are Students Ready for Post-Pandemic Reality?
Schools must make improving students' essential skills a priority for college and career success, says the CEO and president of CAE.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness This Is Not a Good Time to Fall Off the College Track. Students Are Doing It Anyway
Fewer students in the Class of 2021 are applying for college financial aid, continuing a drop that started last year.
6 min read
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Jon Elswick/AP