From Kerri Schelling, Executive Director of the Kentucky
School Boards Association:
As the representatives of local school boards who continue
to assume a greater share of financial responsibility in providing public
education, we at the Kentucky School Boards Association urge the Kentucky Board
of Education to devote more time and research into changing the high school
graduation requirements. For decades, changes of this magnitude have benefitted
from considerable opportunities for public discussion. We do not believe that
the interim commissioner and department have gathered the necessary input on
this proposal from educators, parents and the community at-large.
We ask the Board of Education to consider the unintended
results of the proposal which will compound existing budget and staffing
challenges facing every school in the state. For example, schools will still
need to provide Algebra 2 to many students, while also somehow offering a buffet
of new alternative courses.
We strongly caution the board in its consideration of new,
expanded high-stakes testing. As Kentucky and the nation are moving away from
excessive, and expensive, standardized assessment, we now run the risk of
repeating mistakes of the past. The very same students we are trying to better
serve with more meaningful diplomas will be the same students left with no
diplomas if we predicate graduation on passing high-stakes exams.
We welcome the opportunity for dialogue with our partners on
the State Board as we all strive to ensure a brighter future for each and every
child of our Commonwealth.