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

June 30th, 2010

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.

2 Responses

  1. pinetree says:

    If we continue to hold the goal of high school graduation for all (and I think we should), we have to set the barrier at a level that is realistic for all, and that does mean differentiated diplomas. How you avoid the tracking issue has to do with how you structure the progression and choice of courses that students take. Encouraging students to take the the most challenging curriculum for which they’re prepared, certainly makes sense. But watering down science and math classes so that students who aren’t prepared can pass them, does not.

  2. JadeDragon says:

    If you expect everyone to achieve high school graduation that involves lowering the standards of graduation. When the standards for high school graduation are reduced, the standards for college entrance naturally get reduced. More emphasis needs to be placed on the gifted students and getting them ready for college. It is the gifted students that will drive the economy, government and business forward.

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