Board of Education member Johnny Franklin says until 2013, students had to pass exams in four subject areas to graduate. There are Algebra I, Biology I, English II, and U.S. History. Last year, he agreed with the board and they created options to that rule, including scoring a 17 on the ACT and a passing course grade. But Franklin thinks it's too late in the school year to implement a plan that would consider the student's course grade and the standardized graduation exam as another option.
"My whole thing is and the people that I talk to was, let's just take our time and do it. An assessment coordinator in a district told me that the kids and I are going to be held accountable. Give us the time to do the effort that it's going to take to do this and do it right. Of course, we're implementing it right now, and it's going to be effective ten weeks from now." said Franklin.
Board Chairman John Kelly said he supports the plan and there haven't been any complaints or concerns expressed by school principals. Paula Vanderford, who is with state department of education, says they've spent countless hours on the proposal and it will benefit students.
"We don't know the numbers of students that it will benefit. But if it allows one student that would not have earned a diploma to earn a diploma, then that is what we would have accomplished in helping that student." said Vanderford
The plan now goes to the Secretary of State's office for a 25 day public comment period. The board will hear any concerns at its April meeting.