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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: APRIL 2, 2009


The State Board of Education today approved a one-year delay to The North Carolina Graduation Project requirement for high school students. Today's action means that the Graduation Project will become a high school graduation requirement for the first time with students who first entered ninth grade in 2007-08 (Class of 2010-11).

"The Graduation Project is North Carolina's most real-world assessment. It reflects the demands of the 21st century more completely than any standardized test," said State Board of Education Chairman and CEO Bill Harrison. "Many schools and districts across North Carolina have had a graduation project in some form or fashion for a decade or more. By giving the entire state more time to implement The North Carolina Graduation Project, we can ensure its success in every school and community."

The North Carolina Graduation Project is designed to make sure that all students who graduate from high school in North Carolina are able to

  • address a topic of interest to them;
  • create a product related to the topic;
  • complete a research paper about the topic; and
  • present their work to a panel of community members.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Chief Academic Officer Rebecca Garland said, "The graduation project offers students the opportunity to explore a topic that they care about, to demonstrate what they know and can do, and to interact with adults in a professional way. These are skills that high school graduates will need as they pursue further education and go into the workplace." Garland added that these also are skills not usually measured by standardized tests, which is why the State Board of Education saw the need for and benefit of requiring this performance measure.

Board members say that they see the Graduation Project as having the potential eventually to replace some elements of the current high school testing program once it is in place statewide.

For more information about today's action, please contact the NCDPI Communication division, 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.