Florida will create a two-track high school diploma for college-bound and career-minded students under a bill headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk, reports the Miami Herald.
If the proposal becomes law, the requirements for earning a standard diploma in Florida will change dramatically. Students still will have to pass an end-of-course exam in algebra and a standardized test in language arts. But they no longer will have to pass end-of-course exams in geometry and biology.
Instead, those exams would count for 30 percent of a student’s final grade in that subject.
A passing score on the biology exam would be necessary only for students wishing to add a new “scholar” designation to their diploma. Those students also would have to pass the algebra II exam, earn two credits in a foreign language and enroll in at least one college-level class, among other more rigorous requirements.
Students also can add a “merit” designation to their diploma by earning industry certification in a field such as automotive technology.
A “scholar” wouldn’t be guaranteed college admission and a student who earns vocational “merit” could pursue a bachelor’s degree, reports the Herald.
Not every student is going to go to college, said Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, chairwoman of the House K-12 Education Subcommittee. However, all graduates “are going to be college ready.”
Why not say that non-scholar graduates will be ready for job training — in the military, at a community college or on the job — but not ready for academic higher education?