After more than four hours of testimony and discussion today, a Board of Education committee recommended the adoption of tougher graduation standards starting with the class of 2016.
That’s two years earlier than the Department of Education had planned to put the new diploma into effect. The issue will go to a full board in August, and the effective date will likely be discussed again there.
Under the new diploma, all Hawaii high school students would be required to take geometry or an equivalent course and at least two lab sciences.
The number of required social studies credits, meanwhile, would be decreased from four to three.
More than 20 people testified today at the BOE Student Achievement Committee, and most were against cutting a required social studies credit.
"Math and science gave us the atomic bomb, but the ethics and morals of using it is what students get in social studies," teacher Paul Stader told board members.
DOE deputy superintendent Ronn Nozoe said the new graduation requirements will better prepare students for college or the workforce. "We really need to change the way we’re doing business in schools," he said.