What should a student be prepared for as a high school graduate? worker? citizen?

high school graduationColorado recently adopted new Colorado High School Graduation Guidelines (May 2013).
New expectations about what it means to receive a high school diploma have resulted in plans to move from from a “credit hour” system to a competency-based system. Over the next few years local school districts are expected to conform to these guidelines.

The stated objective for K-12 education is that a student would be:
1) prepared to enter credit-bearing courses in post secondary education institutions
2) prepared academically to enter military career training
3) prepared to be productive entry-level employees in the workforce.

The four competency areas are English, Math, Science and Social Studies (includes History, Geography, Economics and Civics).  Guidelines for assessing proficiency in each area can be determined by various methods including TCAP (soon to be PARCC tests).

One area that does not appear to receive proper consideration is the requirement for the student to understand “the rights, roles and responsibilities of citizenship”.  If this is tested at all, it is included in the Social Studies/Civics area. We think K-12 should do more than prepare students for the “workforce”.   Could a high school student pass the test given to people applying for U. S. citizenship? What do you think?


In 2007 HB07-1118 called for the development of statewide high school graduation guidelines. In May 2013 CDE (Colorado Department of Education) published new Colorado High School Graduation Guidelines.

On CDE page “Developing Colorado’s High School Graduation Guidelines you can find the new Colorado High School Graduation Guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education – May 2013. Also a Fact Sheet and FAQ info.

TCAP – Transitional Colorado Assessment Program
PARCC – Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers




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