Computer Requirement Waived For Class of 2014

By Cody Duane-McGlashan

The Tamalpais Union High School District administration has decided to waive its technology requirement for the second successive year. The requirement no longer applies to the class of 2014.

Prior to the waiver, the requirement could be met either by taking the semester-long Introduction to Computers course, passing a set of 5 skills tests, or taking a summer course at Redwood High School. Students who did not complete the requirement by the end of their first semester senior year would be automatically enrolled in Introduction to Computers.

This policy change was recommended to the School Board in an email from Assistant Superintendent Michael McDowell and approved by the Board at a meeting on February 6. The minutes from the meeting stated that the technology requirement “was found to be misaligned with the district mission, was insufficient in measuring the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the 21st Century, and was not supported as an effective outcome for students by the Applied Technology staff.”

The minutes proceeded to state that the Applied Technology department is “in the process of finalizing outcomes, developing measures, and piloting potential pathways for students to meet any future outcome.”

Applied Technology teacher Geo Monley, who teaches Introduction to Computers, understood the district’s qualms. “They said what we had going was out of date, and I’d agree with that. The exams had nitpicky little details that didn’t really get people to use the programs in context.”

The policy change met a generally positive response from juniors, but some were upset that they had unnecessarily completed the requirement. “The counselors pushed me to take [the course] early on, and it took five weeks of my summer,” junior Jack Rogosin said. “That’s time I can’t get back.”

Junior Abbey Hurley and many others were relieved that the requirement was lifted because of its outdated curriculum. “It is even more useful that they got rid of it because honestly we are brought up on using the things they would be teaching us,” she said.

The district expects a new technology graduation requirement to be developed and considered by the School Board in the 2014-2015 school year.