Tuesday, March 18, 2008

State urged to drop exit test

By Kristen Wyatt
March 17, 2008

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Maryland families are urging state lawmakers to change or repeal legislation that will require exit exams for high-school seniors to receive a diploma.

"It started as a whisper, and now it's growing into a roar," said Delegate Justin D. Ross, Prince George's Democrat. "People are very concerned about these tests."

The class of 2009 will be the first to take the Maryland High School Assessment exams in algebra, biology, English and government. And those who don't pass will not receive a diploma.

The requirements were established in 2000, when Maryland joined a national trend of requiring exit exams. The premise was that diplomas will become a guarantee that students know certain things. But with the pass-to-graduate deadline looming — and no lesser diploma or attendance certificate for students who don't pass despite several attempts — legislators are hearing more calls to modify or drop the exam requirements.

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