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Rethinking the District's Graduation Requirements

DC State Board of Education Announces Historic High School Graduation Requirements Task Force

50% of the Selected Task Force Members Members Will Reside East of the River

  • To apply to serve on the task force, click here. Deadline is Friday, June 23, 2017 at noon.
  • To view a list of who has applied to the task force, click here.

The DC State Board of Education (SBOE) proudly announces the formation of a new High School Graduation Requirements Task Force under the leadership of Ward 1 representative Laura Wilson Phelan and Ward 8 representative Markus Batchelor. With a clear focus on ensuring that all students across the District succeed in college and career, this task force will review, analyze and, as necessary, make thoughtful, implementable recommendations to adjust DC’s high school graduation requirements for all DCPS and public charter students. Ushering in a new wave of transparency, all applications for the task force will be open to public review.

Current graduation requirements in the District were established 10 years ago, and they require students to earn 24 course credits and complete 100 hours of community service. These requirements are one-size-fits-all, without pathways that allow students to gain easy entrance into college or earn diplomas with distinction. Additional details and guidelines should be added to these requirements to ensure that all students will graduate with the knowledge required for college and the workforce.

To receive a diploma in DC, students who enroll in 9th grade for the first time in School Year 2007-2008 and thereafter must earn 24.0 credits (or Carnegie Units) as follows:

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  • For all students entering the ninth (9th) grade beginning school year 2009-2010, one (1) of the three (3) lab science units shall be a course in Biology.
  • At least two (2) of the twenty four (24) Carnegie Units for graduation must include a College Level or Career Preparatory  (CLCP) course approved by the student’s local education agency (LEA) and successfully completed by the student. The course may fulfill subject matter or elective unit requirements as deemed appropriate by the LEA. CLCP courses approved by the LEA may include courses at other institutions.
  • All students must enroll in Algebra no later than ninth (9th) grade commencing with the 2007-2008 school year.
  • Students qualifying for the evening program high school diploma are not required to take the 1.5 credits in Health and Physical Education.
  • All students must complete 100 hours of community service to receive a high school diploma.

Application Period is Now Open!

Half of all DCPS and public charter students reside in Wards 7 and 8, and the State Board wants to ensure that the task force is representative of the city’s student population. Approximately 50% of the task force members selected will live or work in Wards 7 and 8. The task force will involve a wide swath of diverse voices relevant to high school graduation, including middle/high school parents, adult education representatives, community/education group members, high school teachers/principals, and a student representative. In addition, representatives from the DC Council Education Committee, SBOE, DME, PCSB, OSSE, and DCPS will also be invited to participate. To apply to serve on the task force, click here.

The application period is now open, concluding on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 12 noon. The SBOE will share clear selection criteria, and explain how members were selected. To view a list of who has applied to the task force, click here.

Make Your Voice Heard on High School Graduation Requirements! 

Email our Policy Analyst, Maria Salciccioli, directly at [email protected] to submit your comments! Tell us what you think about the current High School Graduation Requirements for the District and what you would like to improve.

Task Force Meetings Will Begin in July and Run Through Spring 2018 

A tentative timeline is below:

Date Description
June 6, 2017 Release of task force application, process, and selection criteria
June 23, 2017 Application closes at 12 noon
June 30, 2017 Task force members selected and announced
By July 21, 2017 First meeting held
July-January 2018 Meetings held every other week
November-February, 2018 SBOE holds public hearings/discussions on graduation requirements
By February 28, 2018 Task force votes on report
March 2018 SBOE Discussion and Vote
By April 2018 SBOE sends reccommendations to OSSE
Early June 2018 SBOE receives final regulations/requirements from OSSE
June 2018 Public comment on final requirements
September 2018 Final SBOE vote, start implementation for SY 2019-2020