States are forced to decide whether graduation confers on those who achieve it validation of knowledge or participation. If a state decides the latter, its diplomas will mean nothing to employers, who require knowledgeable workforces rather than just compliant ones. But when it determines that only after students pass exit exams will they receive high-school diplomas it also, essentially, determines that lots of students won't receive high-school diplomas.
Maryland makes a commendable attempt to reconcile the two options by offering alternative routes to graduation. The Bridge Plan that it has devised, however, is off to an unpromising start.
Update: Oregon, too,??will now have to wrestle with these issues.