Work continues on changing graduation requirements






Indiana high school students could see changes to their diploma requirements as soon as the 2025-26 school year.

The new diplomas are still proposals, but the state plans to approve the finalized changes this fall.

More than three-quarters of Indiana students plan to pursue some form of higher learning. Just a little over half actually do.

The state has spent more than a year working to address that gap and redesigning graduation requirements to better prepare students for college or to enter the workforce.

The Indiana Department of Education is also developing certifications to complement the new diplomas. They’ll indicate whether students are ready for employment, enrollment to colleges or enlistment into the military.

Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner says students need to know their options after graduation — and how to achieve them.

“How do we provide the best information for informed paths and decisions for our students? That’s our opportunity really as a state.”

However, many parents and educators are worried about the rigor of the new diplomas and the availability of required internships.

The current Core 40 model would be replaced by the Flex 40. Students would still be required to take certain English and math classes, but they would have greater freedom over the remaining courses.

Jennifer Smith-Margraf is vice president of the Indiana State Teachers Association and says, “The proposed Flex 40 model lacks the necessary rigor, while the Flex 40 Plus is unobtainably rigorous for many students and challenging for numerous schools.”

More than 45 hundred people — mostly parents and educators — have given feedback so far. State law says the diplomas must be approved before the end of the year.

They’ll be fully implemented during the 2028-29 school year, but schools could opt in sooner.