Credit Flex offers options to students

When we hear about changes from the state, most often we’re hearing about new unfunded mandates or funding cuts.  The news is seldom good.

This time, however, I do have good news to share.  A new state requirement will allow students starting next school year to “place out” of high school classes based on demonstration of knowledge.  No longer will students be required to “put the time in the seat” to get credit for a course.  So, if your student has learned Spanish and can show proficiency to required levels, he can receive language credit without taking a language class.  If you have a math whiz who taught herself calculus, she can test out of the class but still receive credit.  If your child took an online class in government, he may be able to skip the traditional class at school.

This is a great option for students who have mastered subjects in ways other than in class.  It doesn’t matter if they’ve learned via the Internet, from summer courses, at home, through a local university, etc – if they can show they know the subject, they receive the credit.  This offers students much more flexibility in the courses they choose and how they choose to learn.

We are required by the state not only to have a policy addressing credit flex, but also a plan for how we will implement it, by next school year.  More information will be coming as the policy and plan progress.  If you have any input, please post it or email me so I can pass it on.

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4 Responses to “Credit Flex offers options to students”

  1. Betsy Anderson Says:

    I am all for the credit flex concept, but I think it should be structured to help students accomoplish more with their time in school, not to let them out of more classes. Getting credit for a language you are fluent in is fine, but I would hate to see that used to just get more study halls, or to graduate early. Too many students don’t challenge themselves now, and leave high school ill prepared for college or life.

    Skipping level 1 so you can move straight into level 2 of any class is great. Skipping anything so you don’t have to work as much is not furthering our childrens’ education.

  2. andreabrady Says:

    Betsy, I agree with you, and I believe that is the main goal of the new program. For those students who already know material, it can be very frustrating to have to sit through a class simply because it is required. Hopefully students will use their “extra” time to do something like take another class they wouldn’t otherwise be able to fit in their schedule.

    Hopefully it will also keep students interested since they can adapt certain classes to their learning style. I knew a very bright student who hated the traditional classroom setting, but who thrived when he could work on his own. He did wonderfully with online, self-guided classes but did not do well in standard classes. An option like this might have made his high school years more enjoyable and kept him more excited about the learning process.

    The great thing about the program is it can be flexible to meet a variety of student needs. Milford can grow & develop with the program as we see what works and what doesn’t.

  3. Mike Schroeder Says:

    Andrea,

    I have heard from Milford High School that they will not be ready to implement this in time for the next school year. This is really needed for 8th graders coming out of parochial schools or moving to this area who have the knowledge but not the official high school credit. Being able to test out some classes enables the kids to complete more classes in high school and be better prepared for college. For example to complete calculus in high school the students need to have high school credit for algebra 1 in 8th grade. Some middle schools have the class but the credit does not count for high school credit. They need a way to demonstrate their knowledge and get the credit so they can then take higher level math through high school.

    Is there anything that can be done to ensure that this can be ready for the next school year?

    Thanks

    • andreabrady Says:

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for the post. State law requires school districts to have a plan in place by the start of next school year. How that works specifically, I don’t yet know. I’ll check on your question with Dr. Frye, who is working on the plan, and let you know what I find out.

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