A school board committee will introduce a plan today to cut Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' graduation requirement from 28 credits to 24, allowing some students to finish in three years.
The change, which grew out of discussions about how to lower the dropout rate, would give some struggling students more chances to pass in four years. Students who pass all courses earn eight credits a year.
Vice chair Molly Griffin, who chairs the board's policy committee, said the purpose isn't to make it easier to graduate – some board colleagues have called it “dumbing down” the requirements.
Rather, she said it's about “creating much more flexibility and many more possibilities for the senior year.”
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For instance, she said, students could graduate in three years or spend their fourth year studying abroad, doing internships or taking college courses through CMS.
North Carolina requires a minimum of 20 credits for a diploma, though most districts demand more. Some prestigious private schools in Charlotte require only 21.
A resolution for a 24-credit requirement will be formally introduced today but is expected to get little discussion.
Detailed review and a vote will come at future meetings, Griffin said.