How important is a high school diploma? Although Kentucky has one of the highest graduation rates in the country, nearly 40 percent left high school without meeting the state's readiness benchmarks. It's a problem being looked at right now at the state board of education.

Three proposals are being recommended to remedy the issue

-Institute a high-stakes 10th grade math and reading test. The ACT which high school junior take, during the 2017-18 school year, only 45 percent were considered proficient at reading while math was worse at 38 percent proficiency. The new proposal would give sophomores multiple times to take a similar test and it would measure competency in math and reading.

-Dropping Alegbra II as a graduation requirement. Kentucky is one of 16 states that still requires the math course. The reasoning behind this proposal is it's unnecessary for low-income students who usually drop it. But those who want to keep Algebra II thinks it is necessary for problem solving and other critical thinking skills.

-Making students prove they are prepared for college or a job BEFORE they can earn a diploma involving something that wouldn't be tied to a career where math and reading skills are a must.

According to the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown College, by 2020, more than 60 percent of the jobs in the state will require some level of post-secondary education.

A vote on the new graduation requirement proposals by the 11-member Kentucky Board of Education is scheduled to take place Wednesday.

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