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Hartford Looks to Increase Graduation Requirements
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Hartford Public School officials want high school students to meet more rigorous graduation requirements.

Hartford students will have to attain an extra four credits to graduate if a proposal in front of the board of education goes through.

Penny MacCormack is the Assistant Superintendent for Hartford secondary schools.  She helped design the new requirements, which she thinks will push students to achieve more.

“The higher you hold standards for students, the more they’re  likely to meet them.  And students do well with a rigorous curriculum, so this is taking our system from requiring 21 credits to now requiring a college-ready core curriculum.”

Students will be required to take foreign language and art classes, an additional math class and a senior year special project or internship.  MacCormack says the new requirements are just one component in a series of reforms.  She says that smaller schools and more relevant curriculum will add to a successful learning environment.

Richard Schwab, the Dean of UConn's Neag School of Education, is optimistic about the reforms.  He also thinks that teacher support, community outreach and engaging curriculum will bolster student success.

“If we just simply put in higher standards without that underlying support, then you will see the drop out problem being exacerbated.”

If passed the proposal will take effect for this fall’s incoming freshman class.