IAHE has serious reservations about Indiana’s proposed diploma changes. As we study the proposed changes, it appears that Indiana is no longer hiding the fact that these changes are part of implementing the Common Core agenda. IAHE opposes Common Core since the goal is to nationalize education. As you can see from previous Achieve reports; such as, Closing the Expectations Gap p. 6., the terms “Common Core” and “College and Career Ready” (CCR) are interchangeable. The changes in the diplomas endanger school choice and have the potential to make home school diplomas less desirable.
Typically homeschoolers use the Core 40 requirements as a guideline for basic diplomas and use the Honors Diploma requirements as a guideline for students who are college bound. With the new requirements, we have to ask how can a homeschooler continue to provide an equivalent education? Will it make it more difficult for a home school student to be accepted into college?
What is the goal of education? We believe it should teach students how to think and not what to think to enable them to find and know truth and to ensure a well-informed citizenry. The Indiana Constitution declares in Article 8, Section 1. That, “Knowledge and learning, general diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it should be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual scientific, and agricultural improvement;”
When we see language such as, “Industry Recognized Certification” it makes us question if the aim is to produce good worker bees and not to educate? We’ve read that one-third of 2012 Indiana high school graduates required remediation in college. Then why are dual credit courses being pushed down to the high school level? What courses are we omitting if we are able to do this? Is post-secondary education now being “dumbed-down” to allow this?
IAHE contacted the Indiana Department of Education to provide definitions related to the proposed diplomas, since the requirements are no longer the types of classes that have been traditionally found on transcripts.
Here are some questions that IAHE asked the Indiana Department of Education and their responses to help you better understand the terminology related to the proposed diplomas:
STEM Pathway – STEM standards for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Information about STEM is available here.
Information about the pathways is available here.
College & Career Readiness Sequence
“College & Career Readiness Sequences may include Academic courses, Career & Technical Education courses, Early College credits, Fine Arts courses, Advanced Coursework or other sequenced coursework aligned with a student’s College & Career Pathway Plan. Students may earn 6 credits in a single sequence or 8 credits in two sequences.”
For a basic CCR Diploma, what constitutes “Career & Technical Education”?
Current CTE courses can be found in the course descriptions, starting on p. 44:
Note that updates are made annually to courses.
For an Honors Diploma, what constitutes an “Industry Recognized Certification”?
The current list is available here:
Note that this list is updated annually.
For a Workforce Ready Diploma, what would be the traditional equivalent for “Preparing for College & Careers” and “Personal Financial Responsibility”?
Most likely the standards would be reviewed and possibly revised before these courses become required courses.
What would constitute a “project-based capstone”?
***Graduation capstone could include a college/career credential, a project- or work-based learning experience, or other state-approved alternative.
Who decides the definition of a “work-based learning experience”?
There will most likely be guidelines and perhaps even criteria for this that will be set. The school will then determine if the experience meets the guidelines.