Starting with the class of 2014, Ohio students will have to complete a more rigorous high school curriculum, with more mathematics and lab-based sciences, if they want to graduate and attend a four-year state university.
Outgoing Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican who called for the tougher new graduation requirements during his State of the State address in 2006, signed the legislation into law last week as one of his last acts in office. The passage of “Ohio Core” came despite earlier protests from Gov.-elect Ted Strickland, a Democrat, that the legislature should wait to enact the changes.
This year’s 5th-graders will be the first to graduate under the new laws, which will require four years of English, four years of math (including Algebra 2), three years of laboratory-based sciences, and three years of social studies to graduate. The new science requirement will include one year of advanced study in such subjects as chemistry, astronomy, or physics. Now, only three years of math are required, and science classes don’t have to be dominated by lab work.
The Ohio Core legislation complements another law signed in June 2006, which sets aside $13.2 million this year to improve teacher training and recruitment in high school math, science, and foreign-language subjects.
A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week