State Education Chief Objects To Wording Of Hartford Adult High School Diplomas
August 13, 2009
HARTFORD — - Mark K. McQuillan, the state commissioner of education, has told the city school board to issue new diplomas to graduates of the adult high school credit program that omit any reference to the state Department of Education.
In June, the Hartford school board changed the wording on diplomas issued to the graduates of the Adult High School Credit Diploma Program to say the program meets "standards for high school graduation as prescribed by the state Board of Education [SBE]" instead of the "Hartford Board of Education."
The change was made in June, according to schools spokesman David Medina, to reflect that the program meets state — not Hartford — standards. The credit diploma program actually requires students to complete 80 hours of credits, nearly double the state's required minimum of 43 hours.
McQuillan, in a letter to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, said that use of the phrase was "incorrect because the SBE does not have the authority to award these diplomas" on a local level. On Wednesday, Medina said Adamowski was on vacation and had not yet read McQuillan's letter and could not comment.
Adamowski had been open about his disdain for the city's credit diploma program, calling it "fraudulent" and lacking the rigorous standards required of Hartford students who graduate from other traditional high school programs or more intense alternative programs.
Adamowski had tried to eliminate the credit diploma program — even refusing to sign the diplomas — but the city board of education earlier this year allowed the program to remain.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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