Louisiana's Career Diploma Stirs Concern On Standards
Creation of Alternative Path Stirs Worry About Standards
At a time when many states are ratcheting up their high school graduation requirements, critics say Louisiana’s new “career diploma” appears to represent a lowering of standards and expectations for students who aren’t headed to a four-year college.
But some state education leaders who had misgivings with the legislative effort this year to mandate the new diploma say they’ve been working hard to make sure that—within the constraints of the law—it holds real value for graduates. In fact, the state board of elementary and secondary education was ultimately handed considerable discretion to hash out some important details. State officials say the board is expected to complete its work on the diploma this month.
"We can shape it some, and I think we have, and we will continue to try to make sure the rigor is there,” said Charles E. Roemer, an elected board member from Baton Rouge. “My original contention was that we ought to be raising the bar, not lowering it. ... Unless the career diploma has proper rigor in it, I don’t believe we’re preparing our...
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