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I believe that all students, including students with disabilities should be working towards obtaining the same diploma. I don’t believe that a diploma signifies that a student did their “personal best” throughout high school. I believe that a diploma shows that a student has met every requirement of the state, that the student has displayed that they are equally educated at a certain level, and that they have the necessary skills to leave high school. Students with disabilities should be receiving enough extra help throughout high school to get them to that level of proficiency.
Students with disabilities shouldn’t be in the situation where they cannot graduate due to not meeting the requirements because teachers should be making it a priority to help those students reach their academic and social goals. If students are not reaching their goals, then there should be other options out there for them, such as a tutor at home, or even a fun, but academic focused summer school program. If everyone receives a diploma for different reasons and for reaching their “personal goals”, then it will create confusion when jobs are trying to see if a candidate has enough skill to complete a certain job.
Although I do believe that all students should be trying to obtain the same diploma and reach the same academic and social goals, I do believe that there should be different ways of showing proficiency in those areas. Teachers should be able to use a variety of different tools to see if the student is ready to graduate. For instance, some students are better test takers, while others are better demonstrating their knowledge with projects, or public speaking. Students should have the opportunity to show that they have the necessary skills to graduate in different ways. A standardized test should not be the ONLY way to show a student is eligible for graduation. Every student learns differently, not students with disabilities, so they should be able to work towards the same goal using different learning paths throughout high school.
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