In a unanimous vote today, the State Board of Education gave initial approval for students in the Class of 2016 to take two credits online in order to graduate from high school. The proposed change will now go out for public comment.
“This is a critical first step in building the 21st Century Classroom and making sure every Idaho student graduates from high school with the skills they need to be successful in postsecondary education and the workforce,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said.
The proposed rule is part of the Idaho’s Students Come First reform laws, which were approved by the Idaho Legislature in 2011. Through these laws, the state and local school districts will make every classroom a 21st Century Classroom, ensure every student has access to a highly effective teacher every year in school, and give parents immediate access to understandable information about their child’s school and district.
Under the proposed rule, two of the 46 credits students take to graduate from high school must be taken online. The rule would be in effect for the Class of 2016 (freshmen entering in Fall 2012). At least one of the credits must be asynchronous, meaning an online course in which the majority of communications occur in elapsed time and allow students and teachers to participate according to their own schedule.
With the initial approval from the State Board, the proposed rule now will go out for public comment statewide. Then, it will return to the State Board of Education for a final vote this fall. If the State Board approves it, the rule goes before the Idaho Legislature in January 2012. If approved by the Legislature, the requirement will be in effect for the Class of 2016.
To learn more about the Students Come First reform laws, visit http://www.studentscomefirst.org/. Learn more about the proposed rule for online course requirements on the Idaho State Board of Education website at http://www.boardofed.idaho.gov/meetings/board/current_year/09_09_11/index.asp.