Friday, October 31, 2008

State board votes to keep HSA requirement

7-4 vote rejects motion to delay implementation of standards needed to graduate

By Sara Neufeld and Liz Bowie and
8:20 PM EDT, October 28, 2008

Maryland's state school board made a final decision Tuesday to hold firm and require this year's high school seniors to pass four subject tests to graduate in June, although it left open the possibility of exemptions for special education students and those learning English.

The decision leaves 9,059 students across the state -- or about 17 percent of the Class of 2009 -- at risk of not getting a diploma, according to data released Tuesday.

Only 70 percent of African-Americans statewide and 50 percent of special education students have met the requirements. But the group most likely to be barred from graduation are immigrants who are learning English. Many have not yet taken all the tests and only 15 percent have met the requirements.

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