The Kentucky Board of Education has signed off on new graduation requirements for high school students.
Under the new standards, 10th grade students would have to pass foundation exams in reading and math in order to receive a diploma. They could take the tests multiple times, but if they still can’t pass, they could appeal to their local superintendent.
Students would also have to meet benchmark test scores or prove career readiness by earning industry certification or completing an apprenticeship.
Despite some education groups, including the Kentucky Education Association, wanting the vote postponed, the Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the new requirements during a meeting in Frankfort on Wednesday.
Chairman Hal Heiner said the revised standards are needed to ensure students are graduating college or career ready.
"The fact that our current classes are dramatically underperforming the nation when the value for education and skills is higher than ever, therein lies the sense of urgency behind our work," stated Heiner.
The board will take another vote on the new requirements in December following a public comment period. Then, a legislative committee must give final approval. Most of the new requirements would take effect with the fall 2019 freshman class.
In other business, the board approved a contract that makes Wayne Lewis Kentucky's permanent education commissioner. The contract is for four years with an annual salary of $200,000 dollars.