A state pilot program on competency-based graduation requirements was recently expanded under Senate Bill 2941, legislation recently signed into law that will place a greater emphasis on a student’s level and quality of education, as opposed to hours simply spent in a classroom.
The program allows schools to base graduation requirements on students’ knowledge and mastery of subjects as opposed to traditional “seat time,” or the number of hours spent in the classroom. This allows schools to tailor instructional time to meet students’ needs and skills. The current program includes only grades 9-12; this expansion will allow schools serving all grade levels to take part.
The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and the House, with advocates saying the program will help educators better understand how to respond to students’ diverse needs and skillsets. Additionally, the program is thought to be more responsive to real-world college and career demands than the typical high school experience.