And, they didn’t start with the current commissioner of education, either
For those who think the current proposal to increase the quality control over Kentucky’s high school diploma just got started in August, think again.
Way back in February 2018 Kentucky Teacher ran, “Pruitt unveils five-point plan aimed at bolstering student achievement.” The article specifically says the state needs to “Strengthen state high school graduation requirements so that the diploma a student earns accurately reflects the learning required to be successful after high school.”
Pruitt also cautioned in this February 2018 Kentucky Teacher article that graduation rates might drop, at least initially, “but that long term it will align graduation rates and college and career readiness, and will mean that when Kentucky students graduate high school, they will be ready to pursue their desired career path.”
Pruitt brought his proposal to change the high school graduation requirements before the Kentucky Board of Education for the first time at the board’s February 7, 2018 meeting. The board’s meeting minutes say that Pruitt said, “…high school graduation in Kentucky should be the same as college and career readiness. He expressed his belief that, if done right, new graduation requirements will result in lower graduation rates for several years following initial implementation.”
Pruitt continued this message in his Town Hall discussions, too, including one held in Laurel County in April 2018.
So, there has been plenty of notice of what was coming, far more than precedes many regulation changes.
Now, all of a sudden, a bunch of education groups are reported to be fussing about the improved graduation requirements regulation the Kentucky Board of Education will formally consider – for the second time – on Wednesday. People are suddenly wringing their hands that the graduation rate will drop.
Well, not a few of these Kentucky education groups have had more than a small hand in the status quo, where Kentucky’s diploma quality was allowed to vary all over the map.
And, brand new information makes it obvious that there continues to be NO consistent diploma quality control. When a school such as Doss High School can post a supposed 85.4 percent graduation rate but only 25.0 percent of those graduates can meet muster under any of 11 different ways to be officially considered as Transition Ready for what will come next in their lives, there clearly is a huge credibility gap.
The brutal truth is that what it takes to get a high school diploma varies all over the map in Kentucky, and it even varies according to a student’s skin color, too.
Bottom Line: This diploma nonsense needs to stop, and trying to delay (perhaps with the intent to kill) the proposal just now, many months after the discussion started, just doesn’t come across.