Arguing a Position
High School Credits and Graduation Requirements
“In 1997, Chicago raised its graduation standards to well above what Illinois then requires, asking all students to complete all of the courses necessary for entry to competitive state universities”(1). Many people believed that this may cause many students to drop out, but in reality, the graduation rates improved. Now, we are currently facing a nationwide dilemma. Many high schools are cutting graduation requirements and taking away classes that are important to both the students and teachers. I propose that every high school nationwide should have at least seven courses to take and that every student will graduate with a minimum of twenty-six credits. The most credits a student can obtain is twenty-eight which will be applied in the system. Some schools such as a high school in Santa Ana, California have their students graduate with at least two-hundred and forty credits. In 2009, the district wanted to reduce the credits to two-hundred and twenty so more students will graduate. “By lowering them its just like saying we don't want to put our students to their full potential”(2). Although two-hundred and forty seems like a lot, a course is worth a lot of credits as well which averages out neatly. It would be easier to have every school change the number to twenty-eight and twenty-six so there isn't any confusion. The state of Texas already has this standard and in the past, the graduation requirements have changed many times. Reducing graduation credits will not make things easier for students, but it will affect their performance when they are preparing for college. This issue should be addressed to everyone so every generation can prepare for their futures and be successful.
Many schools want to lower their graduation requirements so more students will finish school and so others won't have the urge to dropout. Another reason why lowering these requirements could benefit us is because it will cost less money if some courses are taken out which means fewer teachers as well. “Twenty-five percent of all students, nearly forty-percent of Black and Hispanic kids fail to graduate”(3). This could also help schools raise their attendance and raise the graduation rates. Since many believe that lowering the graduation requirements is a good thing, they don't realize how much it could actually affect the students who are taking fewer courses.
The reason we have schools is to prepare us for college and to prepare for adulthood. Schools benefit us mentally, physically, and emotionally. We learn to interact with others, we learn about ourselves, and we learn different materials to help us understand the way things work and why we do them. Lowering the amount of credits needed to graduate isn't going to make us smarter or help us prepare for our futures. There are many hardworking students who want to learn and taking away a few courses can affect many especially if it was a course students wanted to take. One disadvantage of lowering the graduation requirements is not being prepared for college and it could be harder to be accepted into a good college or university. “According to a recent national survey, an overwhelming eighty-one percent of high school students expect to attend college”(4). Now a high school diploma isn't enough to find a good job and live on your own. A college graduate will have a better chance of obtaining that job which will make finding a job a lot more difficult, which is the second disadvantage. Students need those extra classes that are being taken away to prepare them for college. “Because too many students are not learning the basic skills needed to succeed in college or work while they are in high school, the nation loses more than $3.7 billion a year”(4). A higher education can help lead to a rewarding career and a happier life. Students attending any high...