Colorado OKs New High-School Graduation Requirements

Colorado moved toward setting its first-ever minimum high-school graduation requirements after the state Board of Education approved a plan Wednesday.

Under the current system, each school district sets its own graduation requirements – usually a certain number of course credits.

The new plan gives districts more options. Students could demonstrate competency through test scores, portfolios of a student’s best work, or industry certificates, for example.

"Students would, to graduate from high school in Colorado, demonstrate that they have the language arts and math skills to be able to move into higher education or some sort of career training program," said Eliot Asp, the interim Commissioner of Education.

Districts will need to decide how much they value the arts, social studies and science when setting graduation requirements. The board voted to eliminate scores from the new PARCC tests as a possible graduation requirement. The state minimums won't go into effect until 2021.