New report shows states’ graduation requirements out of sync with Common Core

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, June 24, 2013

A new report from Change the Equation (CTEq) and the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE) examines the connection between state graduation requirements and Common Core State Standards in math. The report, “Out of Sync: Many Common Core States Have Yet to Define a Common Core-worthy Diploma,” found that of the 45 states that have voluntarily adopted Common Core, only 11 have aligned their graduation requirements in mathematics with those standards.

CPE and CTEq have compared states’ high school graduation requirements in math to the Common Core standards to see how well they align and determined that graduation requirements most likely to be aligned to the Common Core standards must include math in each year of high school and convey substantial content typically taught in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II classes. While 11 states are aligned, 13 are only partially aligned, leaving 22 states that have adopted the Common Core but lack corresponding graduation requirements that match the expectations of new standards. Even states whose graduation requirements appear to reflect the demands of the Common Core may still have much work to do to ensure that their high school course sequence and content is truly aligned to the standards.

“As states move toward implementation of Common Core, there are some pressing challenges arising such as the lack of alignment between graduation requirements and outcomes defined by the standards” said Change the Equation CEO Linda P. Rosen. “In order to ensure that a high school diploma is meaningful, states and school districts must transform their expectations to ensure that all students can learn the content called for in Common Core."

“Developing strong educational standards and graduation requirements are important for improving student achievement and success,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director of NSBA. “Common Core State Standards provide an opportunity for states and local school districts to reexamine the graduation requirements they are setting for their students.”

CPE and CTEq will host a conference call for media on Thursday, June 13, at 1:00 p.m. EDT and a Twitter chat on Tuesday, June 18 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Use hashtag #CCSSGradReq to follow along.

RSVP: To request call-in information for the conference call, please RSVP by noon EST on Thursday, June 13 to: Alexis Rice, 703.838.6737,

View the full report online here or download it in PDF.

About Change the Equation

Change the Equation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, CEO-led initiative that is mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of STEM learning in the United States. CTEq’s coalition of members strives to sustain a national movement to improve PreK-12 STEM learning by leveraging and expanding its work focusing on three goals: improving philanthropy, inspiring youth and advocating for change. About NSBA’s Center for Public Education

The Center for Public Education is a national resource for credible and practical information about public education and its importance to the well-being of our nation. The Center provides up-to-date research, data, and analysis on current education issues and explores ways to improve student achievement and engage public support for public schools. The Center is an initiative of the National School Boards Association.

Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) is a not-for-profit organization representing state associations of school boards and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Working with and through our state associations, NSBA advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership.