Some will get certificates, not diplomas

BAY CITY, Mich. - Bay City Public Schools is developing a policy under which students who do not meet Michigan's new graduation requirements would receive a "certificate of completion" rather than a diploma, according to The Bay City Times.

Public school districts are mandated by the state to have a certification plan, but are allowed to set the qualifications locally, according to the report.

The Class of 2012 will be the first group of seniors charged with meeting the new Michigan Merit Curriculum standards, according to The Times. Douglas Newcombe, Bay City interim superintendent, told The Times that the certificate of completion would acknowledge a certain level of academic work.

Offering a certificate may give students an incentive to continue in school rather than drop out, Brian Johnson, curriculum director, told The Times, though others suggested it would encourage students to settle for a certificate rather than work for a diploma.

In Bangor Township Schools, which already has a certification policy, Superintendent Tina Kerr told The Times that she anticipates most cases will involve students who cannot meet math requirements.

The Bay City Times, "Bay City schools ponder alternative certificate for students who can't meet new graduation requirements," Feb. 11, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "Well-intentioned folly: School psychologist suggests 'high standards' may leave some behind," Feb. 29, 2008