Should There Be A Different High School Diploma For College Prep?

Texas seniors must now take a fourth year of math and science to graduate with the recommended diploma required by most universities. Math and science have the lowest passing rates in the classroom and the state TAKS tests. Failure rates are likely to get worse as the state brings in new end-of-course exams and could push students toward the minimum diploma, which would limit college opportunities. Texas offers three types of diplomas: the minimum, the recommended program needed for college and the distinguished diploma for academically advanced students. Some reformers fear that these three different diplomas will lead to premature tracking of students in grades 9 and 10. It might cut off options to go to 4 year colleges. But there are no definitive studies that support or refute this concern.