Parents organize Graduation Pathways meeting

Administrators from Allen County public schools, as well as two state board of education members will be at the meeting Saturday explaining what Graduation Pathways means for future students.

Posted: Jan 19, 2018 10:11 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Students will face tougher rules to get their high school diploma starting with this year's seventh graders.

However, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the Graduation Pathways.

Administrators from Allen County public schools, as well as two state board of education members will be at the meeting Saturday explaining what Graduation Pathways means for future students.

In December, the Indiana Board of Education adopted new Graduation Pathways that will go into effect with this year's seventh grade class.

Those new requirements include requiring all students to take harder classes, such as Algebra 2; complete a work, project or service experience; as well as pass tests like the ACT and SAT.

"These recommendations have zero funding attached to them. our schools took a very large budget cut several years ago and that funding has not been replaced," said Peggy Pizzello, mother of three.

Pizzello has three kids enrolled at Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Her youngest is a fifth grader who also has special needs.

That's one of the reasons why she helped organize Saturday's meeting.

"How is he in two years supposed to pick what his path is? I just don't understand how we are going to put these kids on a road and push them down it for the rest of their high school career," said Pizzello.

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

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

That's why Senator Dennis Kruse wrote Senate Bill 177.

This law would create an "Indiana diploma" students must achieve, with the pathways as options for kids to add on.

"Our state board of education is not elected, it's appointed. So, this board is dictated how our kids are going to move forward and it is completely out of the hands of the citizens and the public," said Pizzello.

The meeting will be at the Georgetown Branch of the Allen County Public Library from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. It will also be streamed on Facebook.

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