In 2007 the Georgia State Board of Education enacted the one diploma for all plan that we currently us. State School Superintendent Kathy Cox spearheaded the effort to eliminate the Technical Diploma and move the one diploma concept. There are numerous educational leaders in the state that are calling for the return of the Technical Diploma and here is the reasoning they offer:
- Traditional college is not what is best for all students and we need a high school program that is focused more on technical skill development and less on college preparatory skills.
- Our state graduation rate has reached 80% and for it to go higher will necessitate having a technical diploma to get many of the remaining 20% to complete their high school education.
- Move On When Ready does not work for all students—for whatever reason they do not have the academic skills sufficient to score high enough on the Accuplacer Examination that enables them to utilize the dual enrollment pathway.
- Obviously some of the 20% will graduate in five years, but those that remain will not graduate and must pass directly to the world of work.
The Career Pathways program initiated by Dr. John Barge during his tenure as State CTAE Director, has reached a point where they can most certainly prepare a student, even those that do not participate in dual enrollment, with the skills to move effectively to the world of work.
- The leaders that advocate for the return of the Technical Diploma argue that it is not a watering down of the current diploma but rather a recognition that the technical skills afforded by our current Career Pathways have a market value comparable to the combination of academic and Career Pathway skills offered by the current single diploma.
It is an idea that is worthy of consideration and discussion.