INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
The Indiana State Board of Education voted Wednesday to approve new
requirements mandating that students do more to graduate from high school in
the years to come.
requirements passed on a 7-4 vote after hours of testimony from those who
overwhelmingly opposed the changes, including educators and labor unions.
Beginning in 2023,
students will have to complete additional coursework, demonstrate
employability skills through service or work projects, or show they’re ready
for college by receiving high scores on exams that include the SAT and ACT.
The added rigor has
stoked fears that the graduation rate will plummet and local schools will be
overworked administering the requirements. But others see it as necessary to
ensure students are ready for either college or the workplace.
“I am disappointed
in the board’s vote today. Following hours of public comments and hundreds
of emails from parents, teachers, counselors and school administrators,
asking members to slow down and figure out the many unknowns, their voices
were ignored,” said Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers
Principal of Goshen
High School, Barry Younghans, previously said one of the biggest issues is
the scoring requirement for those on the college track. He said the scores
that students must achieve are already set higher than necessary.
Younghans said he
wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant drop in overall graduation rates
in the future if the proposal is approved.
The proposal does
have supporters, though.
The Fort Wayne
Journal Gazette previously reported that Mark Melnick, with Benteler
Automotive in Goshen, supports training for jobs that don’t require a
He said that when
looking at students emerging from Indiana schools one reason for the lack of
skilled workers is an overemphasis on the college track. He especially
lauded the apprenticeship recommendation.
needs to plant the seed that there are honorable and well-paid jobs that do
not require a college degree,” Melnick said according to the Journal
Local districts can
also create their own pathway but the State Board of Education would have to
approve, the Journal Gazette reported.