To graduate more students, Des Moines schools may offer a “fast-track” diploma, reports the Des Moines Register. Instead of the 23 credits now required, fast=trackers could earn a diploma with 18 credits. Yet they’d “meet all state and district requirements as well as the entrance criteria at Iowa’s three state universities,” according to Superintendent Nancy Sebring.
Many school districts have increased the number of credits required to graduate from high school, the Register notes. The extra credits typically are in arts, world culture, economics, foreign language and other electives. However, students who don’t have enough credits to graduate usually are lagging in core courses: They’re flunking English or math or history, not P.E. or music or “international foods” (meets Dubuque’s world culture requirement).
If “fast-track” graduates are eligible for college, why not lower the credit requirements for all students? Strong students might prefer to graduate early and work or travel (or play music or cook international foods) before going to college.