Louisiana students will be able to leave the college-prep track at age 15 with their parents’ permission.
Graduates who took the new curriculum would get a career-option diploma that would not qualify them for a four-year college or university. Instead, they could attend two-year technical schools or community colleges.
Critics, including the state superintendent, say career students risk graduating with inadequate reading and math skills. But proponents want to cut the dropout rate by giving students an option that matches their interests and abilities.
The bill was modified to require students who do poorly on an eighth-grade test to take remedial classes in summer school before moving on to ninth grade. Currently, students who fail the test have to repeat eighth grade.
Lowering expectations is a mistake, editorializes The Advocate.