Parents concerned about new graduation requirements

The Indiana School Board of Education approved the graduation pathways in December.

Posted: Jan. 9, 2018 10:47 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Students who are in seventh grade this year will have tougher graduation requirements.

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The Indiana School Board of Education approved the graduation pathways in December.

That has parents and educations across the state concerned.

Northwest Allen County Schools held a meeting Tuesday at Carroll High School going over the changes to try to answer parent's questions.

Nearly 100 parents were at the meeting.

"What really concerns me as a parent is we are telling a kid their future is dependent on a test," said Jennifer Ledger, who has four kids attending NACS. Two of those children will be effected by the new graduation requirements.

The Graduation Pathways requires all students to take college prep classes, complete a work, project or service experience and pass standardized tests.

Ledger, who's oldest child has special needs and not effected by the changes, said the new rules are setting kids up to fail.

"We're going through this now and the graduation requirements are hard for him. so he will be taking five years," she said.

Today, students are required to attempt a "Core 40 diploma" which has been around in various forms since the class of 2000.

However, students who couldn't meet those requirements can still get a general diploma, an option going away under the new guidelines.

"We've taken a safety net away from a group of kids who used to try hard, try to stretch themselves, take more rigourus courses," said NACS superintendent Dr. Chris Himsel.

That's one of the reasons why Senator Dennis Kruse wrote SB 177.

The law would create an "Indiana Diploma" students mush achieve, with the pathways as an option for kids to add on.

That's simular to the set up today.

"I think graduation requirements are extremely important. i don't think you'll find a parent who says they're not," said Ledger.

Himsel said the class of 2016 had a 97 percent graduation rate.

However, if they were subject to the new requirements, that number drops down to 74 percent.

He is encouraging parents to let lawmakers know how they feel about the new requirements, no matter what side they are on.

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