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Board of Education adopts new graduation requirements; names new commissioner

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Board of Education on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve revisions to the state’s regulations on high school graduation requirements.

Following a first reading in August, the Board voted to move forward with changes to what the requirements are for a Kentucky student to receive a high school diploma. Under the new regulation, students must demonstrate a minimum competency level in reading and math before being allowed to graduate. The competency test will take place during a student’s 10th-grade year. A student can take the test more than once. The new regulation also includes an appeals process.

The new regulation also will require that all students earn a “transition readiness” designation before receiving a diploma by completing at least one academic or career indicator in order to graduate. Various options were listed that students could utilize to meet these requirements.

Students will still have to complete a minimum of 22-hour credits but will now follow a sequence of courses in math (Algebra I and Geometry) and English (English 1 and 2). Students may then personalize their additional hours in those subjects. Students will also be able to select from a variety of courses to meet requirements in science and social studies. Requirements for visual and performing arts, and Health and PE stay in place.

In addition to this new approach which aims to give students the flexibility to better meet their individual learning needs, state law calls for students to pass a 100 question civics exam, receive instruction in financial literacy, essential skills, and technology.

Following Wednesday’s vote, there will be a 30-day comment period for public input. The State Board of Education will then take those comments into consideration.

The state Board also voted to make Dr. Wayne Lewis, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education, moving him from the interim position.