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Graduating From High School Is About to Get Easier in West Virginia

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West Virginia is on the verge of enacting a policy that would reduce the number of credits students need to graduate from high school, making it easier to earn a diploma.

The state board of education approved a proposal Wednesday to allow students to graduate with 21 credits instead of 24.

States vary widely in the number of units they require students to earn for graduation, as documented by the Education Commission of the States. Most fall into the 20-to-24 range, although there are states that require as few as 13. 

West Virginia's move eliminates a requirement that students choose two electives that count as graduation requirements, and it also reduces the required number of social studies credits from four to three.

Barring any changes after a public comment period, the changes would go into effect with the next school year.

State Superintendent of Education Steven L. Paine has backed the change in required credits, saying it will allow students more flexibility to take career and technical education classes, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The reduction in credits is part of a package of changes. The board also voted to make it easier to earn A's. Current board grading policy requires A's to be awarded for scores of 93 to 100. The change would expand that score range to 90 to 100.

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