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BC Education Ministry seeks public input on grad requirements

The Vancouver School Board is asking the public to weigh in on high school graduation requirements as part of the ministry of education's province-wide reevaluation of curriculum and graduation under the BC Education Plan.

The district's website says the Special Community Forum on Graduation Requirements on November 22 will include politicians, post-secondary educators, teachers, parents and students.

The meeting will be facilitated by Lynn Archer, principal of North Burnaby Secondary in the Burnaby School District, who Vancouver School District media specialist Kurt Heinreich says is facilitating similar forums in other districts. See the document at the end of this post for the questions Archer will be asking participants.

Heinrich says invitations were sent to the deans of Emily Carr, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Langara College, but he doesn't know who will be attending. But the District is most interested in attracting students.

"We really want to get a good student turn out, because obviously they're the main people that any changes would affect," he told The Tyee, adding they have space for 120 people.

The review is part of the ministry of education's efforts to reformat the province's Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum. In an emailed statement to The Tyee, a ministry official said this is part of the early stages of reviewing graduation requirements.

"To date, the ministry has begun to ask stakeholders for feedback as part of the review. There is no a set timeline for implementation of new graduation program requirements," reads the statement, which ended with a link to a government explainer on curriculum transformation.

The ministry already discussed revamping graduation requirements through more than a dozen Regional Working Sessions organized by the BC School Superintendents Association from February to May 2012. As seen in this ministry document, administrators, teachers, parents, and students weighed recommended basing graduation readiness on ability, not a age; requiring a competency-based exit assessment for all learners; and giving students the ability to apply external credits towards graduation.

Participation in the Community Forum on Graduation Requirements is by registration only. Click here to learn more.

Katie Hyslop reports on education and youth issues for The Tyee Solutions Society. Follow her on Twitter.

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