Kentucky students entering high school next academic year may have more freedom to choose their classes and demonstrate what they’ve learned.
The state Board of Education is considering new graduation requirements that would give students more flexibility in selecting their coursework and allow different ways of showing they have mastered a subject area. For example, students would have to show proficiency in reading and math on a 10th grade test. If they don’t pass, they could take the test twice in 11th grade and twice in 12th grade. If a student still doesn’t pass, they would have an alternative portfolio process. Bowling Green Schools Superintendent Gary Fields says he doesn’t think the current one-size-fits-all model is the best approach.
"Sometimes our students who are most successful after high school are those who weren't the best at taking standardized tests or they couldn't play school very well like we have the past 100 years. We're giving them different ways to show they are ready to be successful," he said.
High school students would still be required to have a minimum of 22 credits to earn a diploma. The Kentucky Board of Education will vote on the new graduation requirements in October. If approved, they would take effect in the fall of 2019.
"In today's day and time when kids are going on so many different pathways and trying to develop who they are and what they want to be when they leave high schools, the graduation requirements were a hindrance in my mind," Fields added.