May 31, 2005
HIGHER ED LEADERS HAIL PASSAGE OF STRENGTHENED GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
SPRINGFIELD - Higher education leaders applauded the passage
of Senate Bill 575 to strengthen high school graduation requirements,
a linchpin of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich's Higher Standards/Better
James L. Kaplan, Chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education,
called the new standards an important advance in broadening access
to college and improving retention and degree-completion.
"The Board congratulates the General Assembly for its foresight
in passage of enhanced requirements in English, math, and science,"
Kaplan said. "These requirements will improve the readiness
of high school graduates for college and for the workforce."
In a statement signed by the chief executives of the state's 12
public university campuses, the presidents and chancellors said:
"Better-prepared high school graduates will be more successful
college freshmen, and successful college freshmen are far more likely
to persist through graduation." The campus leaders said they
were united in the belief that the legislation will plant seeds
in high school for success in college.
The Board of Higher Education has supported tougher graduation requirements
since a 2001 study found that nearly two-thirds of graduating seniors
go on immediately to post-secondary education but only about 40
percent of high school graduates had taken a vigorous curriculum
designed to prepare them for the academic demands of college.
"The Governor's Higher Standards/Better Schools plan will help
place Illinois in the forefront of education reform," Chairman
Kaplan said. "The Board expresses its appreciation to the Governor
and General Assembly for their effort to expand opportunities for
success in a changing economy that increasingly demands post-secondary
credentials for entry into the workforce."