State of Education: New graduation options on the table
At the latest New York State Board of Regents meeting, new graduation options for today’s high-tech world took center stage. Vince Gallagher reports.
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"Part of it is a belief that there ought to be an option for a student to take a career or more technically focused pattern of study," said James Tallon, NYS Board Regents member.
Such as professional certification, for example. There are still some issues, however.
"Then that puts a time squeeze on the districts, so maybe something has to give,” Tallon explained.
That's how the discussion turned to Global Studies. There's a proposal which will no longer require a student to pass a Regents exam in Global Studies to graduate. One of the questions here is, can this area of study be required, among others, without sacrificing two other key areas: math and science?
"We want to help districts see current technical education as a realistic pathway to graduation that should be funded and supported alongside other pathways,” said John B. King, NYS Education Commissioner.
With two new pathways in graduation: one on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and the other on CTE Career and Technology Education, plus looking at how this affects the Regents, it's not all a simple task. As the Regents chancellor mentioned, all of this really can't happen without challenges and tradeoffs.
"The question is how do you develop the tradeoffs so that you don't cut off educational necessities and I think that's what we struggle with,” said Merryl H. Tisch, NYS Regents Chancellor.
"This is part of what the Regents do, balancing all the conflicting opportunities that are out there and trying to make decisions for New York," said Tallon.
The main mission is to provide new pathways to help a student’s modern-day career, while improving the "state" of New York.
"We know that if New York wants to stay competitive in this game of thriving and the future, we have got to align with what youngsters are getting in high schools with what their opportunities are after high schools,” said Tisch.
The board will be looking to school districts for additional feedback. Any changes will not be expected until at least the 2013 school year.