You helped make the College and Career Ready Diploma a reality.
Now it's time to make sure the diploma works the way it's supposed to.
The College and Career Ready Diploma is now law with the passage of SB 6552 this past legislative session. That was a huge win, eight years in the making, and the League of Education Voters worked with the Excellent Schools Now Coalition—and many of you—to make it happen.
The State Board of Education is meeting in July to discuss the proposed rules for the implementation of the College and Career Ready Diploma (SB 6552) and has asked for public comment. That's where we need your help. Please write to the State Board and tell them you believe:
- The College and Career Ready Diploma should be meaningful. The requirements for the College and Career Ready Diploma should not be watered down.
- Parents should be involved in their child's middle and high school education every step of the way. Parental involvement is important to student success, and it should be encouraged and strengthened.
A meaningful high school diploma
- Restrict credits that may be waived to electives. The College and Career Ready Diploma allows students in "unusual circumstances" to waive up to two credits from the total number of 24. However, students will not be prepared for college or career if they are allowed to waive core credits. The waiver allowance should be restricted to elective credits only.
- Define "unusual circumstances." The College and Career Ready Diploma allows school districts to "waive up to two of the credits required... for individual students for reason of unusual circumstances, as defined by the district." Without clarification and more guidance from the State Board of Education, we run the risk of 295 different definitions of "unusual circumstances."
- Require transparency from school districts. School districts should report the number of students for whom credits are waived, the number of credits, the credits that were waived, and the demographic information for these students (free and reduced lunch-eligible, special education status, English Language Learner status, and race as a minimum).
There are four areas where we think the role of parents in the education of their children should be clarified or strengthened:
- Require parent sign-off on the High School and Beyond Plan. The language of the proposed rules encourages cooperation between parents/guardians and school staff. While meaningful accommodations should be made for kids in less-than-ideal circumstances (for example, students in foster care), the default should be that parent sign-off is required for a student's High School and Beyond Plan.
- Require parent sign-off for the 3rd year of math and science. The proposed rules allow students to choose the third year of math and science without parent sign-off "if the parent or guardian is unavailable or does not respond to a request from the school for approval of a specific course." Without clarification on what "unavailable" or "not responsive" means, each school district can interpret those terms differently.
- Ensure that parents with limited English proficiency can access the information. The rules should specify that parents be able to access information in their native language, in both written and verbal form. Efforts should also be made to make sure all parents understand the implications of the High School and Beyond Plan for their children.
- Specify an appeals process that empowers students to take the most rigorous courses. Some courses, including advanced courses like AP and IB, have a cap on how many students may enroll. Schools should have a clear and transparent process for parents who want to appeal a decision to not allow their student to take a particular course.