State proposes high school diploma changes

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In four years, Mississippi high school diplomas could look a little different.

The state Board of Education is working on new graduation requirements that would not only simplify the state’s diplomas, but also increase the amount of credits needed to graduate.

If passed, the new guidelines would reduce the state’s five current diploma options to just two.

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The Board of Education believes that by increasing the requirements to graduate, high school students will be more prepared for college and will need less remediation.

With just two diplomas, a traditional one and an alternative diploma for those with significant cognitive disabilities, the state and its students can be more assured of a diploma’s recognition by employers and higher education programs, something the occupational diploma reportedly has issues with.

The new requirements wouldn’t change much from the current standard diploma, except for a yearlong college and career readiness and an additional math class.

Simplifying the state’s diploma program and the requirements needed to get there is clearly necessary, even for students who aren’t planning to attend college after graduation.

Requiring students to take more classes and further their education while still in high school better prepares them for the many years ahead in the workforce.

Some students would still be able to graduate early, putting them ahead, through academic, distinguished or career and technical endorsements. Before a student is able to graduate, the state, educators, parents and administrators needs to do the best possible job in ensuring they are ready and prevent the need for remediation later on.

If this is approved, we hope that the students in Pearl River County continue to exceed their learning abilities and go on to become successful working adults who stay in Mississippi.