State considers high school diplomas that require more classes, more math

By Braden Pelley
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Career Council has proposed to revamp high school diplomas to require more classes and boost the amount of math students must take to graduate.

The proposed changes mean Indiana would move from four diploma options to three. The default diploma for all students would be the College and Career Ready option, which would now require 44 credits, up from the current 40.

“This is a more rigorously goaled diploma,” said Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. “There is a significant distinction between the diplomas.”

The plan needs approval from the State Board of Education and then final approval from the Indiana General Assembly.

The plan – developed by a career council subcommittee – would create three diplomas:

  • An Honors diploma, which would combine the current academic and technical diplomas. It would increase the credits required for what would be the highest option to 48.
  • The College and Career Ready diploma, an amped up version of the current Core 40 diploma. The new degree would require 44 credits.
  • A 40-credit Workforce Ready diploma, which would replace what’s now called the general diploma.

Other changes include requiring more math and making personal finance and introduction to careers mandatory classes under all diploma tracks. Also students in the workforce ready track would need to complete a “capstone” project or internship aligned with their career paths.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz – who co-chaired the subcommittee with Lubbers – said the workforce ready option was created “so that graduates could say I have experience.”

Braden Pelley is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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