The Chalkboard: Tennessee Diploma Project

Friday, May 15, 2009

The National Governor's Association developed the American Diploma Project in conjunction with Achieve, a not-for-profit organization that helps states raise academic standards. The goal of the American Diploma Project is to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work and citizenship.

The American Diploma Project has 4 specific actions:

Align standards and assessments with the knowledge and skills required beyond high school.

Require all high school students to take challenging courses that actually prepare them for life after high school.

Build college and work-ready measures into statewide accountability systems.

Hold schools accountable for graduating students who are college and/or workforce ready, and hold colleges, universities and technical schools accountable for students' success once enrolled.

In 2007 Tennessee joined with 35 other states in the American Diploma Project Network. This means all students across the state of Tennessee will be expected to meet more rigorous and relevant educational standards. Beginning with the Class of 2013, students will face new graduation requirements. All students will be expected to earn a minimum of 22 credits to graduate. Those 22 credits must include the following:

English 4 credits
Math 4 credits - Students must take a math class each year of high school. These math credits must include Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.
Science 3 credits - to include biology, chemistry, or physics, and an additional lab science.
Social studies3 credits - to include one credit of either world history or world geography, one credit of United States history, and one half credit of each economics and US government.

PE and Wellness 1.5 credits - one credit of wellness and one half credit of another physical activity.

Personal Finance 0.5 credits

Fine Arts1 credit
Foreign Language2 credits
Elective focus3 credits

To assist students in preparing for the Tennessee Diploma Project requirements, parents are encouraged to play an active role in their child's education. Talk with students about the importance of attendance and being successful in school. Parents can schedule meetings with their child's guidance counselor if there are additional questions regarding the new graduation requirements. Monitor your student's academic progress and contact teachers if there are concerns. Working together - community, teachers, and parents - we can help all students be successful in high school and their adult life.