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Group says Graduation Pathways Don't Align with Common Core

Enokson via Flickr

Florida is one of 45 states moving toward a new set of education standards known as Common Core. In addition, a new law in Florida creates multiple ways for high schoolers to get their diploma. So far, the new graduations requirements don’t mesh with the new Common Core standards. The law passed last spring was designed to get more students ready for college or a career.

For example, students who don’t plan to go to college don’t have to take Algebra 2. They may choose to focus on career and technical education courses. But Marie O’Hara with the education reform group Achieve says some of the easier pathways to a diploma don’t meet Common Core standards.
“This isn’t something that’s on the radar screen of a lot of states right now," O'Hara said. "We do think that there’s a disconnect in states that have adopted the Common Core for all students and yet are not currently going to require students to take the courses that deliver the actual standards.”

O’Hara says the state needs to make sure all classes required for graduation are aligned with Common Core, and that students’ progress is measured.

Lawmakers who pushed for easier graduation options say they have time to make sure courses are properly aligned with the new standards.

Florida plans to fully implement Common Core next fall. The standards set expectations at each grade level and are designed to be more rigorous than the current system.