Technology graduation requirement suspended for the 2012-2013 school year

By Billy Butler

Last night the Tam District Board of Trustees removed the technology graduation requirement for the 2012-2013 school year, exempting the class of 2013. According to a release sent out by district Superintendent Dr. Laurie Kimbrel, “the recommendation to suspend the requirement was based on the recognition that our students come to us as ‘digital natives,’ and that the proficiency exam is not in alignment with our district mission or the recently developed technology program goals, both of which emphasize the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the 21st century.”

However, the suspension of this graduation requirement is only temporary while a new curriculum is developed and subsequently approved by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Kimbrel also says, “The applied tech department and their administrative liaison will develop a new means of ensuring student proficiency [that begins in 2013-2014].”

There will be no proficiency tests or workshops held in summer school this year, and students who have completed the old requirement will have their completion carry over once the new requirement is developed.

The technology tests have long been a graduation requirement. Known as Student Learning Outcome #3, the tests were described with these student objectives: “The student demonstrates competence in the use of authoring tools, graphic applications, and telecommunications. Selects and employs a variety of electronic technology resources for research and communication. Creates products using technologies. Uses technology responsibly, legally, and ethically.”

The structure and effectiveness of the new technology graduation requirement beginning in the 2013-2014 school year remains to be seen, but the incoming seniors from the class of 2013 can check one of the requirements off of their graduation checklist.