CMS students start petition to ban senior graduation project

CMS students have started a petition - one with some 3,400 signatures already collected – that if they get their way would ban them from having to do a senior graduation project.

Not all students agree on this push.

For those unfamiliar with the program, the project is a research paper students must complete during their junior year and a product and presentation that they give during their senior year.

Sharonda is a senior at Hough High School. Her project is due in April and counts toward 40 percent of her grade for the quarter.

“It was time consuming but it wasn’t anything too bad and I feel like in college we’re going to have to do this by ourselves and it’s going to be a lot more work and we’re going to have to just deal,” Sharonda said.

Casey Shubert is also a Hough High senior. Her project on foreign language in America was due earlier this year. She feels it was a good experience but some portions were unnecessary.

“I think it did take up a lot of time. Some of it wasn’t necessary but also on the positive side, we did get a chance to explore something that we were interested in, not just something the school is assigning to us,” she said.

Students commenting on said the project is stressful while others feel it shouldn’t keep them from graduating when they’ve spent four years working hard.

“A lot of kids don’t really enjoy doing it. They pretty much think it’s a waste of time and they don’t really need it. But, I personally believe it’s a really good way to prepare us for college where we’re going to have to write tens of pages for research,” she said.

In response to the petition, CMS released a statement:

“The Senior Project is a critical opportunity for high school students to exercise the researching, writing and presentation skills they will need to be successful in college and today’s workplace. Research studies have shown clear educational benefits for students who have participated in and completed this type of project. The CMS Senior Project is a graduation requirement established by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Students with concerns about any aspect of their projects are encouraged to discuss them with their teachers or school counselors to ensure they are getting the most out of the experience.”