Georgia high school students may face a tougher curriculum - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia high school students may face a tougher curriculum

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June 21, 2007

Albany -- South Georgia students go to school to learn the three R's, but reading, writing, and arithmetic isn't enough for high school students to graduate anymore. Students may now have to take four sciences and four maths, instead the previous three courses in each subject.

"That's a big difference to add an extra science and math for everyone," said Patty Ackers, Director of Guidance for Albany High.

But this isn't the only possible change. "Before there was two diplomas. There was the college prep and technical career diploma," Ackers said. "Now it will be the same for everyone."

Counselors believe with the new requirements high school student's will need more help. Without the extra help, the high school drop out rate could increase. The State Department of Education is taking this into account and is planning accordingly.

"We are ready to roll out a math support class for those who need it. So the state isn't just hanging kids out there; we are putting some things in place," said Dougherty County's Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Diane Daniels.

The increase in math and science classes won't just be rigorous for students. The lack of math and science teachers could also put a strain on administration. "In Dougherty County, the school system is moving to a seven period system. We are adding more classes in the same amount of time. So we can use the same amount of teachers," Daniels said.

Though the changes may be a challenge for students at first, it is for their benefit. "We've got to raise the bar. When we look at the world today and what is required we want our students to be competitive," said Acker.

"They have to be ready. If you think of the number of jobs being out-sourced, it is important that they stay competitive," said Daniels. Counselors say that it is very likely the changes will pass.

The State Department of Education will complete the reviews on these changes this month. They will be meeting on the topic again in July. However, Georgia high schools will not know the final decision until October.

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