Possible changes in graduation requirements have sparked different feelings for CVHS students. The changes and their benefits are being discussed but no consensus has been reached yet. Although there are many possible outcomes, we at The Olympian support a foreign language requirement, are uncertain about adding more math or science, and oppose a community service requirement.
Many students believe that change isn’t necessary at all, and our division in this issue was surprisingly noticeable. One requirement that we strongly believed should be added is foreign language, which is currently an elective. UCs, CSUs and four-year schools require 20 credits of a world language. A foreign language requirement would encourage students to continue developing their skills, and would come with many benefits that are useful even after school. Knowing another language can broaden horizons to new cultures, places, and people. It can also give better job opportunities.
Adding an additional year for math or science was not as popular. The Olympian was divided on the pros and cons, and took other students’ views into consideration. Many people do not excel in math or science, so requiring an additional year could cause problems. More math or science could be beneficial to students going to a four-year college, and could encourage them to pursue careers in STEM. However, not everyone desires a university education, and some may consider it waste of time. An extra year of math or science would result in students being able to take fewer electives.
If an additional year became a graduation requirement, many more math and science teachers would need to be found. This is currently very hard to achieve, and the demand for these teachers would only increase. It is important to remember, however, that math and science are important for the future, just like foreign languages.
Although community service would bring many positive things, we do not believe it should be a requirement. Community service is great for giving back and connecting the Castro Valley community, and also looks good on college applications. The cons, however, seem to outweigh the pros. Transportation to service events, the need for teachers to supervise, and timing are only a small amount of issues that may arise. Many volunteer opportunities require volunteers to be at least 16 years old, which numerous students aren’t until junior year. Completing a required course during your last year of high school seems somewhat unrealistic. The thought of all students volunteering in our community is a nice idea, but it would just be too hard to manage and may collide with students’ work or personal lives.
Although The Olympian believes all courses are beneficial in some way and deserve the benefit of the doubt, we must always take into consideration other students’ circumstances and what a required extra year of a course would mean to them. To some it may seem exciting and beneficial, but to others it may be another hurdle before graduating high school and moving forward. Whatever revisions the administration may decide on, if any, we believe that with every change comes opportunity and the chance to make something great of it.