Missouri Raises Education Standards
Although many schools already require 24 units, some smaller Missouri schools do not. For Dr. Kent King, State Education Commissioner, increasing requirements means taking the first step towards improving high school education.
"I think ultimately what this says is that our kids will be a little bit better prepared as they enter the world of work beginning with the class of 2010," said King.
Starting with this year's eighth graders, standards will require one extra unit each in math, science, social studies, and communication arts. Students will also have to take an extra half unit in health and personal finance. For school districts like Southern Boone County, the impact of today's decision will be a small but important one. The high school already meets most of the requirements. The biggest change for the students will be an additional half credit requirement in personal finance. However, Southern Boone County students will be able to incorporate the personal finance requirement through social science classes.
"We're supportive of that. We think our students need that type of instruction. And we're excited about introducing that next year," said Susan Gauzy, Southern Boone County Superintendent.
The Missouri Board of Education expects other school districts to support its decision as well. The new requirements will not affect students already in high school.