New graduation guidelines start this school year

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COLORADO SPRINGS — As students start the new school year, there are new guidelines for them to meet in order for them to graduate from high school.

The state’s Department of Education formed the “College and Career-Ready” demonstrations three years ago and starts this year, affecting every student from the class 2021 and later.

“How do we better prepare our kids for what they are going to need skills wise either in careers or college,” said Lori Cooper, the assistant superintendent of student success at Fountain-Fort Carson school district.

As far as college is concerned, the state has found students are not doing very well.

“We know remediation rates in their first year of college is pretty high,” said Cooper.

Remedial classes in college are below-100 level classes that students should have passed and understood before graduating high school, Cooper says.

CDE reports, 49 percent of students needed at least one developmental course during their first year of college, and 36 percent required more remedial courses.

Cooper says, in reports from higher education institutions in the Pikes Peak region shows students in the Colorado Springs area have remediation rates near 50 percent.

Fountain-Fort Carson School District is using it as a chance to start talking about what’s next for students early.

“Our goal is to start with freshman and say, ‘How do we know our Freshmen are college and career ready? What do they need to demonstrate in math, English, language, arts to be college and career ready?'” said Cooper.

There are 11 assessments the state set in order to graduate. Click this link to see what they are.

This is the first time Colorado has created state-wide guidelines or requirements. Up until this point, the state had a “local control” policy. These standards set a baseline for local school boards to “meet or succeed” according to the guidelines website.

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