I recently was asked whether states in the last 12 months have backed away from more rigorous graduation requirements: in the form of increased opt-out opportunities for regular education and/or special education students, or changes to reduce or repeal the more challenging requirements.
Having looked at the majority of states with "college- and career-ready" graduation requirements in policy, it seems clear that most states are not backing away. And in fact, this year Connecticut joined those that have "college- and career-ready" diplomas for all. Meanwhile, in late 2009 South Dakota's state board acted to require all students to complete the most rigorous set of graduation requirements, effective with the Class of 2014. (Earlier legislative activity had reduced the diploma options from three to two, eliminating the lowest-level curricular option.) And North Carolina increased its social studies requirements from 3 to 4 Carnegie units, adding another unit of U.S. history, to increase the total # of units required from 21 to 22.