The Alabama Department of Education (ADE) may require seniors to prove they are ready for a job or college before graduating.

If the new requirements pass, students would have to show a score from a qualified standardized test, take an AP, IB or college credit course, have a technical credential, participate in a youth apprenticeship, attain career and technical education completer status or be accepted into the military starting with the class of 2028.

Currently, the class of 2028 is about to enter the seventh grade.

State Superintendent Eric Mackey told Alabama State Board of Education members that graduates should be able to meet at least one of these nine criteria to show they’re ready to continue their education. 

Alabama dropped the high school graduation exam in 2014 as a requirement to receive a high school diploma in the state.

The state adopted college and career readiness (CCR) indicators to measure whether students were adequately prepared for college or the workforce but didn’t meet the requirements.

Since 2018, the gap between the percentage of students who have graduated and the percentage of students who met the criteria of at least one CCR has remained above 12%.

The board will meet next month to vote on the changes. There will be a 45-day public comment period before the final vote if the requirements pass.

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