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Parents and teachers react to Kentucky high school graduation requirements

Parents and teachers react to Kentucky high school graduation requirements (WCHS/WVAH)

The Kentucky Board of Education has approved new set of high school graduation requirements giving students more choices when it comes to their courses to ensure they graduate.

The board unanimously passed a new high school graduation requirements on Wednesday that were scaled back after criticism from some parents and teachers.

"In the past all students had to have four math credits all the way up to Algebra II at least, and now Algebra II is a little more flexible," Boyd County High School assistant principal, Courtney Bartley said. "Then with English it sounds like they'll just need maybe English I and II and English III and IV could be like an English type of elective."

The changes gives students more flexibility to pick classes that they're interested in while also making sure no student graduates without basic reading or math skills.

"I think it will give more flexibility with what they really want to go into," Bartley said.

Revisions allows more options for students to demonstrate skills but teachers say that means more courses need to be added.

"There’s more options and to keep up with every single kid and what standards they've met is going to be a challenge," Bartley said.

Students must also fulfill one of seven "qualifiers” that could range from AP exams to work experience designed to help prepare them for a career or a college degree.

"Students may look at it in one way, "well I don't have to do as much so I'm going to go this route," parent, Connie Miller said. "So students may limit themselves trying to take the easy way out in high school."

While some think the revisions are lowering the bar for graduation requirements many believe it will help.

"I think you need to provide what the kids need depending on what direction they're going because every kid is not college bound," Miller said.

New provisions will take effect for the class of 2023.

"I think it could be a good thing but it's going to take some time and flexibility to get used to it," Bartley said.

The proposed requirements will go through a legislative review process for approval.

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