Plymouth Schools Superintendent Keeping an Eye on Graduation Pathways Proposal

Changes to high school graduation requirements are being discussed during today’s State Board of Education meeting. Among the local school administrators following the issue is Plymouth Schools Superintendent Andy Hartley. “There are concerns with respect to the access to earning a high school diploma for all students,” he told the Plymouth School Board Tuesday. “Those were and have been voiced by me and several others, and so we’ll see where things land.”

Members of the State Board of Education are expected to act today on recommendations from the state’s Graduation Pathways Panel. As part of the proposed changes, students would be required to show they’re prepared for higher education by getting an honors diploma, passing the ACT or SAT, taking part in some sort of certification or apprenticeship, or one of several other options. They would also have to demonstrate their employability by taking part in a project-, service-, or work-based learning experience.

But Hartley said Tuesday that the graduation pathways are just one of many changes that may be coming in the next few months. “They’re doing this in the midst of also accountability rules, rule-making review, a new ISTEP test coming out, federal guidelines’ influences on the role of the general diploma, and so I think that we’ll see changes to state requirements for a high school diploma as well. So there are just going to be a lot of moving parts coming through not just the State Board but also this upcoming legislative session that we’ll be keeping our eye closely on.”

Hartley said that regardless of any changes, the Plymouth Community School Corporation will continue to do what’s right for its students, strive to make sure each of them gets a high school diploma, and prepare them for the future.