Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Doubts emerge as statewide tests keep just 11 from diploma

By Liz Bowie
Baltimore Sun
September 22, 2009

State education officials said Monday that only 11 students statewide did not graduate in June because of newly required tests, a number that seemed surprisingly low to those who had worried that thousands of students would fail to graduate.

The High School Assessment, which took effect with the Class of 2009, had produced some of the most divisive debates in the education community in the past several years. Supporters of the tests said they would make the state's high schools more rigorous and a diploma more meaningful. Others argued against the requirement, saying that it created an unfair disadvantage for students in urban schools who had not been given an adequate education.

But the results for the Class of 2009 prompted state school board member S. James Gates Jr. to ask, "Are we setting the standards high enough?"

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