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  With the class of 2023, there is going to be a whole different set of criteria for those incoming freshman to graduate in the state of Indiana--and it’s not going to be easy.

  According to the Indiana Department of Education’s Graduation Pathways, there will be three “buckets” a high school student must surpass in order to receive a regular diploma. The first bucket is to receive a Core 40 or honors diploma. The second bucket is to demonstrate employability skills by completing a project-based learning experience, a service-based learning experience, or a work-based learning experience. The third bucket is to demonstrate postsecondary-ready competencies. To achieve this bucket, a student has the option of working towards an Honors Diploma, receiving certain SAT/ACT/ASVAB scores, getting a state or industry-recognized certification, a federally-recognized apprenticeship, take two career technical education advanced courses, or--what will probably be the most common option--earn a C or better in three dual credit or AP classes.

  As of today’s standards to graduate, a student only needs two DC or AP classes to earn an Honors Diploma. However, these are not necessary to graduate with a Core 40 diploma.

  Like many small or private schools in the state, Bishop Noll faculty and administrators are voicing their concern on how to get their students on par to achieve the postsecondary-ready competency requirement. According to Ms. Michele Arnold, guidance counselor, the teaching staff plans on working together to continue to add dual credit options to the curriculum. They will continue to inform future students and families about these new milestones to graduate.

  While these changes are pushing students to have higher test scores and better opportunities, there are other concerns. The state is attempting to insure all students graduate with skills they need to be successful, but they are not providing fundings or resources to support schools making these mandatory changes.

  “We need to make sure that we have other ways for students to fulfill that third bucket requirement with something besides test scores,” Arnold said. “The faculty is aware that not every student can achieve the qualifying test scores and are coming as an aid to make it their main goal to shape their students.”  

   Although these new pathways do not apply to current Indiana high school students, they are still shocked by the new criteria that Indiana is requiring for graduation.

  “Having a higher standard all of a sudden is unfair to students new to high school,” said sophomore Aclynn Rodgers, who believes that the standards to graduate should remain the same and not increase as years go on.

 

Makayla Fuentes, Staff reporter

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