Wisconsin law states that a school board may grant a high school diploma to a pupil who has not satisfied the credit requirements if:
- The student was enrolled in an alternative education program
- The school board determines that the pupil has demonstrated a level of proficiency in the subjects for which credits are required equivalent to that which they would have attained if they had satisfied the credit requirements
Some districts offering alternative programs:
- struggled with finding a way for students to demonstrate competency
- developed excellent competency-based curriculums that are aligned with the state standards
- rely on computer-aided instruction (Novanet, Plato) or portable assisted study sequence (PASS) packets to measure competency.
Nationally, the most recognized way to measure competency is the general education development (GED) test. In Wisconsin, that includes the GED test battery (mathematics, science, social studies, language arts) plus health, civic literacy, employability skills, and career awareness that comprise the high school equivalency diploma (HSED).
Traditionally, the HSED in Wisconsin was obtained by contracting with a local technical college or community-based organization for the preparation and testing of students 17 years if age or older. Contracting for HSED preparation is referred to as GED Option #1 (GEDO #1) and is described in the Q and A on Contracting with Technical Colleges, below.
Wisconsin school districts can now apply for permission to prepare students for the HSED through their alternative education programs provided the student will be awarded the traditional high school diploma. The school district will be using the HSED to measure proficiency in lieu of credits and students are required to meet other graduation requirements in school policy such as community service, high school graduation test, teacher recommendation, and academic preparedness.
This new opportunity, GED Option #2 (GEDO #2), requires interested districts to submit an application (PI 8201) provide a narrative, and send signed assurances to Beth Lewis at DPI.
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