Changing the Rules on Graduation Requirements

DC “State” Board of Education has proposed changing the rules for District of Columbia Graduates.  Rather than taking all the courses required to get their degree, students could simply pass the right tests and get their degree.  With the exception of testing out of math and language courses, many educators think this is a bad idea.  The following two articles, taken from the March Citizen Reader, published by Living View Communications, highlight the details.

Update on Proposed Rules
by Sarah Livingston

As reported last month, the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Education proposed a set of rules on January 22 that would radically alter high school by allowing students to acquire credit by passing OSSE approved tests, among other provisions.

According to a memo from the Superintendent to the Board dated February 26, 2016, twenty-five comments were received. After reviewing them, the superintendent made “certain clarifying technical amendments” which were determined by the Attorney General to not constitute substantial changes. However, the memo continues, the comments raised enough questions about subsection 2203.7 that the “OSSE believes further discussion on this topic would be beneficial,” and proposes to put that section in “reserve.” Meanwhile, she is requesting that the Board give final approval to the remainder of the rules as amended.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting on March 16 in the Old Council Chambers at 441 4th St. NW. The meeting begins at 5:30 pm and the agenda includes time for public comments. See for the full agenda.

Citizens Petition Against Proposed Rules
by Sarah Livingston

Shortly after the Citizen Reader came out last month, Cathy Reilly, Executive Director of the Senior High Alliance for Parents, Principles and Educators (SHAPPE) posted a petition against the proposed rules on-line. To date, it has been signed by close to 300 people. The preamble to the petition gives a

good overview of what is at stake in the proposed rules while individual signers provide brief statements of their concerns and opposition. The petition can be found at’t-let- tests-be-a-substitute-for-a-strong- education.html

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