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NEWS RELEASES 2004-05

NEWS RELEASES 2004-05 :: DECEMBER 16, 2004

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON NEW HIGH SCHOOL EXIT STANDARDS;
PARENTS/EDUCATORS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND

Parents, particularly those with children in elementary and/or middle school, and educators at all levels are strongly encouraged to attend one of six regional information sessions being held across the state in January to receive public comment on options for implementing new High School Exit Standards.

The new standards represent the first change to state graduation standards since 2000 and a move toward making high school more rigorous and relevant to students. Students entering ninth grade for the first time in the 2006-07 school year will be the first class expected to meet the new standards.

Each session is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will include an informational presentation followed by approximately 90 minutes for public comment and questions. News media are invited to a special media briefing session from 4-5 p.m., prior to the public information sessions, on each of these dates. Locations and dates of each session are listed below.

Thursday, Jan. 13 Gaston County Schools
Board Room, 943 Osceola St.
Gastonia


Tuesday, Jan. 18 Jackson County Schools
Scotts Creek School, Media Center/Auditorium
516 Parris Branch
Sylva


Wednesday, Jan. 19 Guilford County Schools
Weaver Education Center, Media Center
300 S. Spring St.
Greensboro


Thursday, Jan. 20 NC Department of Public Instruction
Education Building, Room 150N
301 N. Wilmington St.
Raleigh


Monday, Jan. 24 Bertie High School
Gymnasium, 715 U.S. 13N
Windsor


Wednesday, Jan. 26 Cumberland County Schools
Education Resource Center, Room 3
396 Elementary Drive
Fayetteville


The new framework of High School Exit Standards approved by the State Board of Education at their October meeting includes performance on five end-of-course assessments (Algebra I, Biology, English I, Civics & Economics, and U.S. History) and a senior project. In addition, students are still required to meet current state and local graduation standards. The new exit standards will only apply to students following the Career Preparation, College Technical Preparation, or College/University Preparation courses of study. Students following the Occupational Course of Study are required to meet rigorous exit standards as established by the State Board of Education.

The details of how the new framework will be applied have not been decided. The public input gathered at the information sessions will help the State Board of Education in making these decisions. The two implementation options being considered by the State Board are available online in both English (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/policyoperations/exitstandards/)and Spanish (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/policyoperations/exitstandards/spanish.html).

In addition to the six input sessions, the Department of Public Instruction has developed a survey on the implementation proposals for the exit standards. Citizens are encouraged to first review the implementation options before participating in the online survey in either English (http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB223Z4QK9EC4) or Spanish (http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB223ZXDQRP95)

For more information about the High School Exit Standards and the information sessions, please contact DPI's Information and Communications Division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.