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NYSED proposes overhaul to high school graduation requirements: What could change?

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  • Staff Report 

The New York State Education Department, following the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission, presented a new set of proposals to the Board of Regents on Monday aimed at revamping high school graduation requirements.


The Graduation Measures Initiative, a comprehensive effort involving students, parents, educators, and various stakeholders, is designed to redefine the meaning and significance of a high school diploma in New York State. The initiative emphasizes educational excellence and equity, preparing students for the dynamic demands of tomorrow’s workforce.

Central to the recommendations is the replacement of the current three diploma types with a single diploma, supplemented by optional seals and endorsements. This shift includes a range of new credit requirements focusing on skills and knowledge areas vital for the 21st century, such as civic responsibility, cultural competence, financial literacy, STEM education, and practical writing skills.


The proposals also advocate for enhanced access to career and technical education (CTE), internships, and work-based learning opportunities across the state. Additionally, the Commission suggests modifying diploma assessment requirements to allow diverse assessment options, developing specific graduation requirements for unique student groups, and pursuing regulatory changes for posthumous degree conferral.

Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa emphasized the importance of a personalized education approach, stating that the initiative aims to address individual student needs and enhance their employability and post-secondary education opportunities.

As the Department of Education begins to develop guidance and regulatory changes based on these proposals, the focus remains on creating a more inclusive, responsive, and adaptable education system in New York State.