You’ve heard of Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average. Welcome to Indiana, where the children need to be average or above to earn a high-school diploma.
That may be where we’re heading with the recommendations approved Tuesday by the Graduation Pathways Panel and sent to the State Board of Education for consideration. The board could approve the recommendations – a significant change in what it takes to earn a diploma – on Dec. 6.
Panel members say their plan will expand access by creating more pathways that students can follow to graduate. What they don’t say is that each pathway includes barriers that could prevent some students from reaching the goal.
- Students can qualify via the SAT or ACT exam, but only if their scores meet “college-ready benchmarks,” nearly the average for college-bound test takers.
- They can qualify by getting a passing score on a military enlistment test, but today’s all-volunteer military doesn’t admit just anyone.
- They can qualify by passing at least three dual-credit, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses, but they need at least a C grade.