Why are Graduation Requirements Getting so Complicated?

Why are Graduation Requirements Getting so Complicated?

Thomas Price, Website Manager

The real reasons that students are freaking out about graduation.

        As the Class of 2023 is preparing to leave, the requirements to graduate become more and more critical. Do you have at least two seals? Are you getting all your credits? Are your grades passing, have you paid all your school bills, did you find the right college, have you gotten good scores on the SAT or ACT? Graduating in today’s world is a hefty process, and there is a LOT to break down. Why are Ohio’s graduation requirements getting so complicated, and how can we fix them?

The first thing to note is that graduation plans are changing nonstop. Just in the past few years, Seals were introduced and starting for the Class of 2026, students will be required to take a Financial Literacy class. Not to forget that you already need to have 4 English Credits, 4 Math Credits, 3 Science Credits, and 3 History Credits. Why are all of these things being added? Are seals really that helpful?


        Many of the seals require you to do simple things in school, that you will automatically meet if you just go through High School normally and pass most of your classes. Adding the label “Seals” just makes it one more thing to keep in mind. While it might give a small minority more opportunities and goals to reach, colleges aren’t looking if you met your Seals, nor does it have value in a resume. You can’t get a job at a big company just by saying “I got my State Seal of Biliteracy”, because no one even knows what that is (it’s actually not offered at Lakota, so surprise! 12 Seal Options is actually 11).

And of course, we can’t forget about grad plans. These nifty google sheets give students opportunities to learn more about colleges to attend, write essays to apply for college scholarships, and help with general readiness for life after High School. The biggest issue is that, while they might not be required to graduate this year, future years will have to do these and complete some of the most…well, useless things ever. I don’t think Lakota plans to track if I “clean up junk emails” or “Review grades with your advisory teacher.” The Google Sheets are also incredibly hard to navigate, with text boxes splattered throughout, information always linked to another document, which then is linked to another document, which is linked to yet another, and so on. How do we know these are being used for a good reason? What if we already know what we want to do in the future, why spend all this time doing Naviance Quizzes about “what jobs might be good for you?’

        Students have been capable of graduating for years and years, why are Grad Plans suddenly needed? As long as you stay on top of your grades, ACT and SAT Scores, and you get the necessary credits, then you will be okay. If Lakota wants to make students go through yet another time-consuming step to graduate, then it needs to be optional there. Personally, I already know what I want to do in the future. Lakota doesn’t need to know every single thing I plan on doing, nor are they going to use half the info. Besides, do sophomores really need to know everything right this instant? Some people don’t even plan on going to college, and some want to go into the military. It’s great that Lakota wishes to give more recourses to students, but please, don’t force it. Young Adults are called Young Adults for a reason, we aren’t fools. We know how to do things on our own, and don’t need someone to micro-manage every step of the way. Let students plan out their future, without all this intervention.


Graduation is constantly growing to meet our needs, but it feels that in the long run, it’s just another thing to deal with. CCP Classes are a pain to enroll in, and discourage students. Why do them when it only helps in Ohio Schools? Seals simply add another checklist that students need to keep track of. Running Practice English Air (now called OST) Tests are a waste of time and don’t get used for much when kids don’t even get the full 2+ hours to finish it. The ACT and SAT don’t get enough study time when teachers are throwing more at you days before, instead of helping kids study. Adding class requirements that no one will use is simply taking up kids’ schedules. There needs to be a point where it stops! 


        Graduation worked 30 years ago, without seals and without grad plans. Why continue to add new steps in the process that don’t benefit the student, but instead scare them away from trying? Lakota can do better for seniors, juniors, and sophomores alike when entering high school. If they want their students to thrive, it’s time for them to reconsider the steps along the path to Graduation, for this year’s graduating class and beyond.