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Nebraska Governor Wants Tougher Graduation Standards

From guest blogger Dakarai I. Aarons:

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman wants the state to move forward with new high school graduation requirements aimed at making sure more Nebraskans not only enter college, but complete it successfully.

Heineman and Roger Breed, the state's education commissioner, are pushing for a change that would require all high school students to take four years of English and three years of math, science, and social studies in order to graduate, the pair said during a Monday news conference at the state's Capitol.

The requirements would take effect by the 2014-15 school year. The change would represent the first to the state's graduation code since the 1980s, Breed said. Heineman hopes to have the new regulation before the state's board of education and passed within a few months.

The college-going push in the Cornhusker State came from a confab of education leaders making up the state's P-16 council, which has re-organized itself around priorities that reflect President Obama's goal to return America to leading the world in the percentage of college graduates by 2020.

Among the other goals outlined Monday are developing a longitudinal data system that provides information from preschool through post-graduate degree attainment and entry into the workforce; improving the Cornhusker State's high school graduation rate to 90 percent; and improving Nebraska’s college-going rank to the Top 10 tier nationally. The state is ranked 19th, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

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