2theadvocate.com | Gov. Jindal approves new diploma — Baton Rouge, LA — A trend, you watch.

Gov. Bobby Jindal approved legislation Thursday creating a new public school curriculum with lowered academic standards, waving aside objections from education advocates who say the change will produce high school graduates who lack basic English and math skills.

Bobby Jindal

Under the new law, students 15 and older could leave the standard curriculum and instead take a “career track” if they have parental approval. They would face easier requirements for graduation and a curriculum less geared toward college preparation. It would also allow eighth graders to advance to ninth grade without passing the state’s high-stakes standardized test.

Graduates would get a “career option” diploma, different from the state’s standard diploma, designed to get them into a two-year technical school or community college but not four-year schools.

Via Mister Justin.

  1. Jason York says:

    This is nothing new- when I went to high school in the 80’s, we had three tracks- vocational technology (welding, shop, autos), business (geared towards 2 yr schools), and college prep. Trying to pretend that everyone is college materials has resulted in kids who simply aren’t prepared for the realities of college, and the dumbing down and devaluation of college degrees.

  2. chuck says:

    The purpose of High school is not to get students into college or university. Not all students are qualified to go to college, nor should they.

    I would be quite happy if our school system could actually produce students who could read/write/speak English and have basic math skills.

  3. homehive says:

    What is this commentary talking about? U.S. high schools (and grade schools)are a disaster, run by overpaid, tenured incompetents! This just adds a little honest to the system. My own state, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is talking about awarding this new type of diploma, but the corrupt bureaucracy is certain to veto it.

  4. LDA says:

    If you lack basic maths and English skills at 15 give up now.

  5. KMFIX says:

    A stupid population is easier to control. GO JINDAL!

  6. deej says:

    1) Long overdue. Public schools have long mixed the the bored masses who have no desire for higher education with those bound for college, beating into their heads that it is the best path. College is not for everyone – we need to realize this and provide alternatives that don’t stigmatize.

    2) At the risk of appearing foolish, this is not a photo of Bobby Jindal. An Indian (think India) American the governor of one of our 50 states? I think he deserves to have his actual photo included with this post, lest we exacerbate the ignorance of those who may tread this hallowed blog.

  7. Ron Larson says:

    This is similar to the British school system where you decide around age 14 if you want to go to a trade, or university track.

  8. deej says:

    #6 Oh ok, “Kenneth the Page” reference. Missed that one. I missed “moran” before so I should have known… D’OH!(Annoyed Grunt).

  9. Flip Wilson says:

    Stupid is what stupid does. Jindal is a frickin’ moron so what’s a few more in Louisiana?

  10. Neumann says:

    I love that picture, ha ha! Shove him into a wall of boxes!

  11. contempt says:

    If the government schools dumb down the curriculum much further then the teachers will get paid for letting the kids stay home and watch Captain Planet.

  12. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    When I was in high school I was on the college track, but I thought it would be a good idea to take the auto repair class offered by my school. I was already ahead with my courses so this course would not replace any college prep courses.

    But no. The powers that be in the school said to take the auto repair class, I would first need to take the year long vocational tech course. The two weeks spent on auto repair in the vocational tech was required to lay the foundation was the explanation given to me.

    God forbid somebody should learn a practical and applicable skill (which might have helped PAY for college) when on the college prep track.

  13. dummy says:

    Lower the bar that is always the answer.

    The movie Idiocracy just turned into a documentary.

  14. Improbus says:


    Are you just now noticing that? Just relax and enjoy the ride back to the stone age.

  15. Mac Guy says:

    Look, a lot of the “trade jobs” here in the U.S. are going unfilled. How much does it cost to hire a plumber or welder? Why is it so high? Supply and demand, baby. If the demand is high and the supply is short, the prices go up.

    Let’s be honest. Not everyone will be a rocket scientist when they grow up. As George Carlin once said, “kids are like any group of people: a few winners, a whole lot of losers.”

  16. deowll says:

    Look at it this way, somebody has to be below California. Louisiana is it.

  17. MikeN says:

    This is ridiculous. They need to focus on improving people’s knowledge, not dumbing things down. It’s horrible enough that 50% of kids are below the median.

  18. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    #17 One of those math jokes, rite?

  19. web says:

    This is another reason for Louisiana to hang it’s head in shame. They are not talking about an alternate curriculum biased toward the trades. They are talking about a separate diploma for poor kids that can barely read a stop sign.

    Jarvis DeBerry said it best in the Times-Picayune.

    “The state’s lawmakers — in cahoots with a derelict state board of education, self-interested teacher unions and school boards and a governor who ought to be ashamed of himself — are abdicating their responsibility to make the state’s high school diplomas mean something. They are, instead, about to create an attendance award and pass it off as if it signifies something other than the state’s low opinion of the recipients.”

  20. bobbo, always enjoying defining words says:

    #18–Cap’n==surely Mike is rounding up?

    Fun to play with though–If 50% of folks are below average, and 50% of folks are above average, then how many people are just average?

    ((I know, read it off the graph.))

  21. Glenn E. says:

    I’ll just bet this “curriculum” was tailor made by the Pentagon. And they’re counting on Louisiana to provide them the next wave of fresh meat, when voluntary enlistments dry up, in the future.

    If there really were any trade jobs going unfulfilled. It’s because employers would rather hire kids, with little need for health benefits, and retirement pay. Than staff with older and more experienced workers, who do. When I was in my 20s, in the Air Force. I knew I was already too old to be hired as a computer programmer, in some civilian company. Because they mainly hire them straight from college, in their teens. Just like Microsoft did. After 24, you’re screwed in the American labor market.

  22. Nimby says:

    Vocational training is a fine idea for many students. Graduating plumbers or auto mechanics who can’t read very well, is not.

    I do hope they also continue to include the sex education course: “When a Sister is More Than a Sister” or at least the simpler class, “What’s a Cousin, Anyway?”

  23. All they will probably do on the job is sit there and play video games all day long on their Wii or whatever

  24. brian t says:

    #18: comment #17 had it right, Median is better than Mean for this kind of discussion. Mean only implies the same thing when the distribution is symmetrical, and I don’t know if we can assume that here. I’m sure it was a joke – anyone been to Lake Wobegon recently?

    I had a bizarre education->work transition, which I only noticed in retrospect. I did pretty well in school, got university-level grades, but I never got to go to university for financial reasons. We were living in South Africa at the time, with little money, and there was absolutely no State backing for 3rd-level study. (I’m only getting to go to university now, 25 years later, in Ireland.)

    So I took an apprenticeship in “instrumentation”, and you know what? It wasn’t half bad. It was work, and study, but I also got to do exciting stuff at a steel plant. Everything from tapping an iron furnace to seeing steel getting rolled in to sheets. This was the period when industry was getting more computerized, so the definition of “instrumentation” was changing. Anyone who could understand this PC stuff was in demand. It wasn’t all “sub-college” people, and smart people could rise through the ranks and do pretty well, though you would eventually run in to academic requirements for becoming an engineer or manager, and need to study further.

    However, I don’t know how that would work these days, now that many industries no longer exist in their previous form. If every US State implemented this type of program, who would take all those students on? As already pointed out, not everyone is suited for college, and that does NOT mean that such people are stupid! For example, a good welder who is also smart can learn additional skills over time, such as underwater work, and make an extremely good living from it – and perhaps do a management degree later.

  25. RTaylor says:

    All it takes is a GED to get into a technical school. Many community colleges will allow to to enroll, completing the GED as you go. I’ve always respected a UK degree more than a US. Many US students would freak out taking a comprehensive week long final to obtain a degree. A First Class degree is quite an accomplishment. There are too many students in college. In most state schools they watered it down to a high school level and hold the kids hands. Serious education is a competitive game, and you need to grow up fast. If you can’t pull off a 2.5 or higher that first year, you need to go.

  26. Don Quixote says:

    The church will teach them all they need to know. Cheap labor to compete with Chinese cheap labor. The republican dream.

  27. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    #22 A well trained machinist will never lack a boat payment, much less the mortgage payment. T he machine that make the machines always needs a replacement part or a new die. And with a large number of the baby boom age machinists nearing retirement, many companies are starting to get worried and are considering apprenticeships to train their replacements.

    But to reinforce some earlier comments, jobs like these demand a good understanding of geometry and math and also the ability to read and comprehend complex instructions, manuals, etc.

  28. Nimby says:

    # 24 RTaylor said, “I’ve always respected a UK degree more than a US.”

    I can’t really agree with you, RT. I spent three years with my British wife as she went through her Master’s program in Social Work. I’ve seen high school course work that was more rigorous! On the other hand, maybe it’s the nature of social work to be juvenile and dogmatic. Her thesis was a joke. Not a very funny one either.

    Odd thing: I never said any of this to her and she STILL divorced me as soon as she finished. Personally, I think she waited too long…

  29. Greg Allen says:

    Having a less-academic “trade” track would be a good idea if conservatives didn’t think is was a brilliant idea to give all our good paying jobs to the commie Chinese.


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