New Curriculum Requirements Introduced

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There are more suggestions regarding what the state's increased high school curriculum requirements should include.

Tuesday, legislation was introduced at the capitol. It builds on a beefed up set of graduation requirements approved by the state's board of education last year. The hope is higher standards will lead to higher learning.

House Majority Whip and Education Committee Chair Brian Palmer sponsored the bill which suggests 16 required credits. Those credits include four each of English and math. The math credits call for Algebra, Algebra II, Geometry and one course beyond those. Three science credits including biology, physics or chemistry plus one additional course are included as well along with three credits of social science, one health or physical education, and one music or the arts. The importance of vocational training is also stressed in the suggestions.

House Speaker Craig DeRoche says the only thing that was left out completely was the foreign language credits the State Board of Education wants to require. DeRoche says he doesn't believe schools can afford staff for that but also that French and Spanish speaking skills likely will not help the economy of Michigan in the 21st century.

Senate Education Committees are holding hearings statewide to discuss requirements. Currently, under state law, the only requirement for high school graduation is one semester of civics.