As states move to implement the Common Core State Standards, key challenges remain. One is how to make sure a high school diploma acknowledges what students have achieved. Should states adopt a two-tiered diploma, in which students who pass internationally aligned Common Core exams at a career- and college-ready level receive an “academic” diploma, while students who fail to meet that bar receive a “basic” diploma? Yes, say three prominent thinkers who have long wrestled with questions of standards, testing, equity, and excellence. Chester E. Finn, Jr., is distinguished senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Richard D. Kahlenberg is author of the definitive autobiography of Albert Shanker, and Sandy Kress advised President George W. Bush on the No Child Left Behind Act.
• Chester E. Finn, Jr.: Different Kids need Different Credentials
• Richard D. Kahlenberg: Hold Students Accountable and Support Them
• Sandy Kress: Diplomas Must Recognize College and Career Readiness