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Public Policy 2017 > SB 910 - an Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Department Of Education

TESTIMONY OF CAPSS RE S.B. No 910 AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Joseph J. Cirasuolo, Ed.D.
Executive Director 

February 26, 2017


The CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), which represents the superintendents of CT’s public school systems and the members of the central office staffs of those systems, recommends an alternative to that section of the recommendations of the Department of Education that addresses graduation requirements for students who attend public high school in CT.  The alternative is the one that is endorsed by the CT Boards of Education (CABE), the CT Association of Schools (CAS) along with CAPSS.  The alternative recommendation is as follows.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
Credit-Based Mastery System 

For the Class of 2023 and All Graduating Classes Thereafter

For the Class of 2023 and all graduating classes thereafter to graduate from a CT public high school, a student must: 

(1) Acquire a minimum of 25 credits, including but not limited to:

  • 9.0 credits in the Humanities (including the arts)
  • 9.0 credits in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • 1.0 credit of Fitness Education
  • 1.0 credit of Health Education
  • 1.0 credit of World Cultures
  • 1.0 credit Mastery Based Diploma Assessment*

Credits above may be acquired through the demonstration of mastery of graduation standards in alignment with state standards in all content areas, including cross-curricular graduation requirements**.

If high schools elect to require demonstration of mastery for the earning of credit, those high schools shall provide students the opportunity to experience learning through flexible and multiple pathways. Such learning opportunities can include but are not limited to career and technical education, virtual learning, work-based learning, service learning, dual enrollment and early college, courses taken in middle school, internships, and student designed independent studies.

* This assessment is a work product developed by the student over a period of several years and integrates many, if not all of the essential skills acquired over a student’s history in secondary schools.

** Cross curricular graduation requirements are challenging and measurable 21st century learning expectations for all students which address academic, social and civic competencies. Each expectation is defined by specific and measurable criteria for success which define targeted high levels of achievement. Some examples are: collaboration, systems thinking, empathy, communication (including reading, writing, speaking, listening skills), technological skills, civic engagement, intrapersonal intelligence, and problem-solving.

CAPSS makes this recommendation for the following reasons:

  • It relieves the State’s public school districts from the obligation to spend money to implement the requirements that were adopted in 2010 which are not aligned with the objective of every student knowing the content and acquiring the skills that students will have to know and have in order to be successful after they leave high school.  In other words, districts would not have to spend money in pursuit of actions that are not worth pursuing.
  • It removes barriers for those many districts that are developing systems whereby students will actually have to demonstrate that they have acquired the requisite knowledge and skills before students are awarded a high school diploma. 

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