Graphic by Alix Glickman '23
As I listen to endless conversations about this new graduation requirement I can’t help but wonder, what is the purpose of this? As I enter my junior year, which is already known to be a particularly challenging year, I find myself even more stressed out by the new graduation portfolio.
This portfolio requires you to accumulate past assignments from classes and put them into a Google Site. However, during my first two years of highschool this graduation requirement wasn’t solidified, so how was I supposed to make assignments that will now fit into a category created after the fact? Teachers have reassured us multiple times that we won’t have to worry about actually completing new assignments, but I find it hard to digest that message being that we were all oblivious of this requirement until recently.
When students ask what exactly can this be used for in the long run, the only response ever mustered up is that eventually this can be put on a resume. When I am in college, or even after college searching for a professional job I can confidently say that I will not want my assignments written by 14-year-old me to be put on my resume.
High school is supposed to prepare you for your future. I can definitely say that I do feel my teachers have taught me many lessons that I can use beyond the classroom.Throughout my highschool journey, my education has been dramatically expanded, and I feel as though the course requirements us Staples students are required to meet have played a major role in this. However, I can foresee that this new graduation requirement will serve me no long-term purpose after I graduate. Searching through my Google Drive looking for year old files does not teach me anything about how to deal with real life issues or the crises occurring in our world.
There are already an abundance of graduation requirements which include credits for specific genres of classes and standardized tests. Shouldn’t those classes already incorporate the domains in their curriculum? If the state is mandating certain classes to do that and those classes are providing us with the education implementing the four domains, then why would we need to take the extra step to make a whole website about it? Oftentimes, we are using the domains but not curating an actual assignment. This adds an obstacle for making a website that can only include online versions of assignments. For example, I don’t have proof of a socratic seminar I was a part of in social studies class, but if you ask me, that more than demonstrates the usage of communication.
We have also had to compensate connections time for this portfolio. Connections was originally created as a time to bond with fellow classmates. It also allows built-in time for your guidance counselor to come talk to your class about upcoming or important information. Typically in my connections class we would play interactive games or talk about relevant matters, now it is usually spent explaining the Vision of the Graduate assignments which is far from fun.
I know that it is too late to dismiss the portfolio for the upcoming class of 2023, but looking in the near future Connecticut needs to reevaluate this requirement. Frantic juniors who are balancing ACT and SAT testing, difficult AP and honor classes and preparing for college do not need this additional assignment.