Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander has filed a bill (SB 1614) intended to undermine the new high school graduation requirements in math and science approved by the legislature and Governor last year.
The bill is an answer to prayer for the FSBA, which included in its legislative agenda this statement:
Revise high school graduation requirements to accommodate students who wish to pursue a college ready curriculum and those who wish to pursue a career ready curriculum, and amend the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards to allow Career and Professional Education Academies the flexibility to implement applied math and science courses.
Alexander’s bill is specifically intended to address students in “career academies” and “Honors ROTC” programs. It would change the statute language on graduation standards in math as shown in bold here:
Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2010-2011 school year, in addition to the Algebra I credit requirement, one of the four credits in mathematics must be geometry, or a series of courses equivalent to geometry, or a rigorous course consistent with the intent of the student’s career program in which he or she is enrolled as approved by the State Board of Education.
For science, the amended language would read (with the changes in bold):
Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2013-2014 school year, one of the three credits must be Biology I or a series of courses equivalent to Biology I as approved by the State Board of Education, one credit must be chemistry or physics, or a series of courses equivalent to chemistry or physics, or a rigorous course consistent with the intent of the student’s career program in which he or she is enrolled as approved by the State Board of Education, and one credit must be an equally rigorous course, as determined by the State Board of Education.
Notice that biology isn’t replaced in the career student’s program – it’s “chemistry or physics.”
As of this writing, there is no House companion. But there is sure to be one.
Update (3:00 pm): School Zone has posted a report on SB 1614 and linked back to this post.