Post Graduation Requirements

How far do we take having students college and career ready?

What is the responsibility of the school after graduation?

Do post graduation plans determine the success of a school?

What is the responsibility of the parent/guardian?

These are a few of the questions that have been raised as Chicago Public Schools announce their new high school graduation requirement, scheduled to take effect in 2020.

 To graduate from a public high school in Chicago, students will soon have to meet a new and unusual requirement: They must show that they’ve secured a job or received a letter of acceptance to college, a trade apprenticeship, a gap year program or the military. The Washington Post

There have been mixed reviews all over social media concerning this new requirement.

As an elementary educator, I’m torn.

I can see the  benefits of requiring students to have a plan following high school, I mean our ultimate goal is to prepare students to be college and career ready (hence the Common Core Standards). Creating a plan that assists students with securing post graduation plans makes sense. If our ultimate goal is to assist students in becoming productive and contributing members of society then we should assist them with planning for life after receiving their diploma. Key word being ASSIST.

This is where I’m torn, although I understand the thought process- WHO will be responsible for ensuring each high school senior has secured a job, internship, or college/trade school acceptance letter? Many public schools (especially in the urban districts-but that’s a discussion for later) are losing funding. There’s barely money for basic supplies and staff salary.

Experts say Chicago Public Schools is the first big-city system to make post-graduation plans a graduation requirement. But the question is whether the cash-strapped district can provide enough mentoring and counseling to help its neediest students succeed when the rule takes effect in 2020. The Washington Post

Who is going to assist students with interview and communication skills? Who is going to track student progress? And why should this be the school’s responsibility? Why aren’t parents ensuring their children are prepared for life after 12th grade? While a good idea in theory it sounds like another plan to take even more accountability and responsibility from the parents (where it belongs) and put it on the school system. Let me add, if you’re a parent who is relying on the education system to give students all of the things they need-you’re already in trouble.

Where do we draw the line? If Chicago is adopting this, how long will it take other districts all over the country to enforce this requirement? Why can’t we fix what’s broken before adding “new” stuff?

What are your thoughts on post high school requirements? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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