Graduation Requirements in High Schools

Sarah Carlson, Matthew Kelly, Billy Stiles, Sarah Nolan
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1. Description of Problem or Issue
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
a. What are some opinions on high school graduation requirements?
b. What are the politics that surround Rhode Island and federal high school graduation requirements?
c. What different types of graduation requirements can be found in America?
d. How do graduation requirements affect students?

2. Research Summary
The research that we conducted surrounds the graduation requirements in Rhode Island and the U.S.A as a whole. Sarah C.'s research discusses the element of NECAP testing in Rhode Island as a graduation requirement. In addition to discussing NECAP testing, she explores the history of graduation requirements in the US, the dropout rate, the possibility of implementing CPR as a requirement, and the correlation between standardized tests and future career success. Matt's research evaluates the politics behind graduation requirements. His research is heavily involved with standardized testing, as that is the graduation requirement that government usually plays its hand in. His research shows how standardized testing has developed into a mandated requirement over time in Rhode Island. Furthermore, he weighs the pros and cons to the government setting high or low levels of expectation in regards to testing. Lastly, he gives an example on how the state government in New York implemented educational strategies regarding the acquisition of high school diplomas for learning disabled students. Billy's information involves the different types of graduation requirements that are found in America. His research points to graduation requirements being hurdles that students simply have to overcome, while also touching upon students with disabilities and the requirements associated with them. Also, one element of his research points to a startling requirement in Detroit, where students are required to be accepted in at least two colleges before receiving a high school diploma. Certainly important, Sarah N.'s research evaluates and explores the affects that graduation requirements have on students. She found that a graduation requirement on the rise is the completion of community service, which is a positive requirement that benefits students and society. Moreover, she continues on a positive theme as she discusses the importance of having requirements in the first place--in order to validate the achievement of a high school diploma. She closes out her research in a discussion of physical education as a graduation requirement, and the emotions and stress among students related to requirements.

3. Group Project Overview
We will give a presentation in class in order to discuss our research and findings. We will present our information in an informative and visually-appealing PowerPoint slide show presentation. We will end our presentation by opening up to the audience for any questions or personal experiences related to graduation requirements.

4. Visual Representation
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Sarah Nolan's Annotated Bibliography
Billy's Annotated Bibliography