New statewide graduation guidelines that hinge on competency, rather than "seat time," could be adopted Wednesday by the state board of education, although even supporters expect considerable push-back against a move five years in the works.
An advisory council has been crafting minimum standards in four core subjects that would be required to graduate from Colorado high schools — baselines that could be achieved through a variety of standardized test scores or other means.
If the council's proposal is adopted, the guidelines would be phased in over for seven years, a delay that would give students entering middle school a clear vision of expectations on the way to a diploma.
"I don't think there's anything more important in the state of Colorado today than these guidelines," said advisory council member Bill Kurtz, CEO of DSST Public Schools, a high-performing Denver charter network. "When you don't set the right bar, you don't get the right outcomes. When you set the right bar, usually people rise to the occasion to meet those expectations."