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KSBA statement on proposed KDE changes to high school graduation requirements

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.

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