High School-Level STEM Initiatives: State Has Adopted Rigorous Graduation Requirements in Math and Science for All Students
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High School-Level STEM Initiatives: State Has Adopted Rigorous Graduation Requirements in Math and Science for All Students

Why does it matter?
Research has found that if increased success after high school is the goal of increasing graduation requirements, it is most effective to require specific courses, rather than simply requiring more mathematics and science courses.

Based on research by ACT and Clifford Adelman's 1999 Answers in the Toolbox report and the 2006 follow-up The Toolbox Revisited, ECS considers the following to be rigorous minimum graduation requirements for mathematics and science:
  • Three mathematics credits with the highest course completed Algebra II.
  • Three credits of laboratory science.

Highlights:

Eighteen states currently have, or are phasing in, rigorous graduation requirements in either mathematics or science.

Currently one state - Texas - requires all students to complete at least three units of mathematics, including Algebra II. An additional 13 states will phase in this requirement by 2015.

Four states - Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia - currently require all students to complete three units of laboratory science. An additional eight states will phase in this requirement by 2014.

When these graduation requirements are fully phased-in by the class of 2015, eight states will have rigorous graduation requirements in mathematics and science for all students: South Dakota, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

Last updated: June 2008

This database was compiled by Kyle Zinth, policy analyst, ECS Information Clearinghouse. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.



State has adopted rigorous graduation requirements in math and science for all students
Alabama Yes for mathematics starting with class of 2013.
Alaska No
Arizona Yes for mathematics starting with class of 2013.
Arkansas Yes for mathematics and science starting with class of 2010.
California No
Colorado No
Connecticut No
Delaware Yes for mathematics and science starting with class of 2011.
District of Columbia No
Florida No
Georgia Yes for science.
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois No
Indiana Yes for mathematics starting with class of 2010, and for science starting with class of 2011.
Iowa No
Kansas No
Kentucky Yes for mathematics and science starting with class of 2012.
Louisiana No
Maine No
Maryland No
Massachusetts No
Michigan
Yes for mathematics and science starting with class of 2011.
Minnesota Yes for mathematics starting with class of 2015.
Mississippi No
Missouri No
Montana No
Nebraska No
Nevada No
New Hampshire No
New Jersey No
New Mexico Yes for mathematics starting with class of 2013.
New York No
North Carolina Yes for mathematics starting with class of 2013.
North Dakota No
Ohio Yes for mathematics and science starting with class of 2014.
Oklahoma Yes for science starting with class of 2010.
Oregon No
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island No
South Carolina No
South Dakota Yes for mathematics and science starting with class of 2010.
Tennessee Yes for science.
Texas Yes for mathematics.
Utah No
Vermont No
Virginia Yes for science.
Washington No
West Virginia Yes for Science. Algebra II will be recommended but not required for all students starting with class of 2012.
Wisconsin No
Wyoming No

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