WICHITA, Kansas — For more than a century, Kansas students have earned credits — and, after enough of them, a high school diploma — based on how much time they spend in a classroom.
The age-old “Carnegie unit” approach to education became the academic law of the land way back in 1906. And it stuck: One credit equals about 120 instructional hours in one subject. Kansas requires students to pass at least 21 credits to graduate from high school.
But a group in charge of evaluating the state’s graduation requirements says that classroom time makes for a poor yardstick for measuring learning. So it argues for ways to let local school districts sub in other metrics more calibrated to the 21st century.