Alabama considers adding new statewide graduation requirement

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua

The Alabama State Department of Education is considering adding new criteria that can determine how ready high school seniors are for the next step of their lives.

Students would have to check off at least one of nine boxes that determine college or career readiness. Examples include a qualifying score on an Advanced Placement exam or earning college credit while in high school.

Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Mike Daria said his system is ahead of the game.

“We’re already doing that work,” Daria said. “We want every student in Tuscaloosa City Schools to graduate with one of those career or college readiness indicators because it helps identify their pathway and it gives them a ticket to that pathway.”

The state board has not done a major overhaul of the high school graduation requirements since the ’90s.

These new requirements would become effective for next year’s ninth-grade class, with the first graduates meeting these new requirements in the class of 2028.

“A high school diploma is not the same as it used to be years ago,” Daria said. “It used to be you just pass your classes and you get a diploma and that was enough. Today, not only do our students need a diploma before they go out, but they need a diploma and a readiness indicator that says they are ready to do what comes after high school.”

The state will begin the adoption process at the September board meeting. A final vote is expected in November.

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