Joanne Jacobs notes that Rhode Island considers tiered diplomas: The best students in Rhode Island’s most rigorous schools may get a Regents diploma showing they’ve met state standards, while most graduates would earn a local diploma, reports the Providence Journal. Tougher graduation requirements linked to the Regents diploma are supposed to go into effect in 2012. But many districts — including the three largest, Cranston, Providence and Warwick — aren’t ready to teach to that level. Students aren’t ready either.I've thought for years that a single diploma was too broad a brush to paint the picture of all of the graduates. I approved of the NYRegents diploma when it was actually a challenge to get one, when you had to work hard at a more difficult course and pass a more difficult curriculum to get it.
What I foresee happening in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is a quick fade on the strict adherence to the standards they set up. Just as NY has fiddled with its tests until the NYRegents has little meaning, so will the RIRegents.
Maybe there will be some students who stand out while it lasts. It would certainly alleviate the problems of remedial word requirements in college and would allow employers and college admissions people to have a better feel for the true ability of the applicant.