Utah parents: Weigh in on proposed changes to grading, graduation

State education leaders want to hear what parents think about possible changes to Utah’s high school graduation requirements — from giving students the flexibility to use more electives to get a diploma to changing how grades are calculated.

The State Board of Education Graduation Task Force will hold parent meetings this month in Utah, Weber and Salt Lake counties to get parents’ opinions on the group’s recommendations.

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The group is considering recommending students be given two options for earning regular high school diplomas:

• A general studies diploma would require 13 credits in core subjects such as English, math, science and social studies; five foundation credits (P.E., health, art, career and technical education, financial literacy); and six elective courses.

• An individualized/focused studies diploma would require 13 credits in core subjects and 11 elective credits (including a mixture of health/P.E., art, career and technical education, financial literacy and other classes based on a student’s education and occupation plan).

The recommendations might also include moving to competency-based grading — which would ask students to show their knowledge through measures such as tests and various types of projects.

Class grades would not be influenced by attendance, behavior and extra credit — issues covered by a separate citizenship grade. Districts and charter schools would decide whether to offer a diploma that includes a citizenship grade.

To see the recommendations in detail go here: http://tinyurl.com/owsou7r.

The meetings are scheduled for:

• Jan. 21, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Nebo School District Board Room, 350 S. Main St., Spanish Fork;

• Jan. 22, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Orion Junior High School, 370 W. 2000 North, Harrisville, held in conjunction with the Utah PTA;

• Jan. 22, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Utah Office of Education Board Room, 250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City.

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