Out of the 45 states that have adopted the Common Core, only 11 states and the District of Columbia have high school math graduation requirements that align to the new standards, says a new study. Thirteen more states are only partially aligned, leaving 22 that have yet to complete any steps to meet the graduation standards, according to the study, co-sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education and the nonprofit, Change the Equation.
Patte Barth, director of NSBA’s Center for Public Education, says the study, “Out of Sync: Many Common Core states have yet to define a Common Core-worthy diploma,” determined that districts that require algebra I and II, geometry, and other math for all four years of high school were more successful in meeting the standards.
“We want to be clear that we know states and districts are doing a lot of work to meet the standards, but we don’t want them to forget about graduation requirement standards,” Barth says. “If you’re awarding diplomas based on only two years of math, it doesn’t mean students are getting a full understanding of important math concepts.”
Both Barth and Claus von Zastrow, COO and director of research at Change the Equation, say they hope the “Out of Sync” study encourages district leaders, as well as policymakers in the states struggling to meet the standards, to slowly integrate new graduation requirements.
“Leaders should start to gradually raise graduation requirements, but it’s important to also put the right support system in place while doing so—whether that’s adding more qualified teachers to teach the new standards or implementing technology initiatives,” von Zastrow says. “We see the CCSS as a promising development for the U.S. education system and new graduation requirements can help lay the groundwork to ensure students are being taught at a higher standard.”