Core 24 has a minimal impact on the majority of students

Sydney Dybing, Opinion Editor

Last week, if I heard “Core 24,” I would immediately think “no more waivers or TAs; no more guided study.” But now, I know that Core 24 doesn’t mean any of those things for Liberty. So what is it, exactly?

This past spring, the Washington legislature enacted a law changing the minimum number of credits required for high school graduation from 19 to 24. Basically, this means that a student at a six period day high school would have to pass all six classes for four years to graduate.

However, considering that Liberty already has graduation requirements of 28 credits for this year’s juniors and seniors and 29.5 credits for sophomores and freshmen, the law doesn’t directly affect us like it does Issaquah or Skyline.

“A law would not make us change, but if [students in] the other two high schools have to maximize their school day for four years [in order to graduate], we need to look at a similar measure for Liberty High School,” Principal Josh Almy said several weeks ago.

Recently, the Issaquah School Board voted to increase Liberty’s credit minimum to 31.

But even with this increase, for the vast majority of people at our school, it would not take away those opportunities or even cause them to change their plans at all.

With the course changes at Maywood Middle School, a freshman could enter Liberty with credits for Algebra, Geometry, World Language, and Biology classes. Combined with the option of waiving PE classes for extracurricular sports credits, without even considering credit that could be earned in online classes, a lot of Liberty students enter freshman year with a good portion of their required credits already complete.

Unfortunately, there will always be some students at Liberty who for one reason or another can’t pass a class, and theoretically may not be able to get their diploma.

“Those are the kids that we need to work with more, and those are the kids that we need to create multiple opportunities for to replace those credits,” Almy said.

Almy mentions summer school – an opportunity for students to regain credit and replace a failing grade, thereby improving their GPA – and Night Academy – pass/fail courses that students can take after school simply to gain lost credit.

While these opportunities are a start, there are options for improvement. Summer school, for example, is only offered at Issaquah High School on certain dates and times, making it inaccessible to many students. A better alternative would be summer classes at Liberty, with multiple sessions and school-district-provided transportation.

If the goal of these requirement changes is to allow students to reach their maximum potential in high school, those in danger of failing need to be provided with many easily accessible opportunities to improve their chances of success.

So before you get angry at the state and the Issaquah School Board for taking away your senior waivers, remember that if you transfer middle school credits, play sports, and take advantage of credit retrieval opportunities if you fail a class, this new law in no way qualifies as a game-changer for you.