Changes to graduation requirements mean more flexibility for high schoolers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Changes to high school graduation requirements may be approved when the Kentucky Board of Education meets early next month.

While 22 credits will still be needed to earn a diploma, there will be more flexibility in those requirements.

Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said in an interview with Kentucky Toady the changes are needed for two main reasons:

“We’re graduating some kids who struggle to read and to do basic mathematics. That’s a big one,” he said. “Second, we boast a 90 percent graduation rate in Kentucky, ranked seventh in the nation. But we deem 65 percent of our graduates to be college or career ready. That means, by our own measure 35 percent are not ready.”

Lewis said that begs the question why diplomas are being issued to those who are not prepared for the next step in their life, be it college or the workforce.

The changes will allow for more flexibility in course work, to align students with where they want to go following graduation.

Another component of the changes is what he terms as an end of span assessment starting during the sophomore year in high school.

“Kids would be required to demonstrate that they have a basic competency in reading and mathematics as a requirement for graduation,” Lewis said.


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