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Superintendent McCormick seeking federal waiver for Indiana’s general diploma

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced this week that it will seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education in order to avoid a negative impact on Indiana’s graduation rate.

Earlier this year, IDOE informed schools that under the new federal regulations in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Indiana’s general diploma will no longer be considered when calculating school graduation rates and A – F grades.

There were approximately 8,600 students who earned the general diploma last year. Not accounting for these diplomas would result in a drastic decline in Indiana’s graduation rate, should the federal regulations take effect. Using data from 2016, the rate would fall from 89.1 percent down to 76.5 percent.

A legislative study committee voted last month to recommend the state secure a federal waiver.

Early results of an ISTA member survey show that a clear majority of educators support obtaining a waiver to maintain the Indiana general diploma. More information about the survey results will be shared with policymakers once completed.

IDOE is asking stakeholders to submit comments, including approval or disapproval of the waiver. Please submit your feedback by the Dec. 2 deadline.