Monday, March 03, 2008

Bills Seek New Kind of Graduation Requirement

By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 28, 2008; Page PG01

A Prince George's lawmaker has introduced legislation to prohibit the use of standardized tests as public high school graduation requirements in Maryland, arguing that the High School Assessment tests could unfairly deny diplomas to deserving students.

Beginning with the Class of 2009, the Maryland Board of Education will require students to pass a series of curriculum-based exams in algebra, biology, English and government to earn a high school diploma. Students unable to pass the tests could complete projects in those subjects as an alternative.

But legislation introduced by Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George's) would eliminate the assessment tests as graduation requirements. A second bill introduced by Walker would weigh students' scores on the standardized tests with their attendance record and grade-point average in determining eligibility to receive a diploma.

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