ERIC Number: ED190655
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Status of Minimum Competency Programs in Twelve Southern States: A Report of the Southeastern Public Education Program.
Ramsbotham, Ann; And Others
The legislative history and provisions, implementation, and intended use of 12 state-mandated programs are described. Florida's program was mandated in 1971. The other states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) initiated programs after 1975; most are in their initial stages with full scale operation expected in 1982 or 1983. The programs share these features: (1) performance objectives are established; (2) state developed or state contracted tests are administered to three or four elementary and secondary grade levels; (3) specific consequences are mandated for students who fail. Six states, for example, require high school students to pass minimum competency tests before graduating. Although these programs attract citizens and policy makers they raise many problems: funds are needed for remedial programs; states devote more effort to assessing than to satisfying needs of disadvantaged students; management and reporting systems are complex; mandates do not always apply to private schools or handicapped students; grade retention and diploma denial have social, educational, and financial costs; and school districts may lose autonomy. In the final analysis, teaching, not testing, can best assure the attainment of competencies. (CP)
Descriptors: Disabilities, Educational Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Graduation Requirements, Minimum Competencies, Minimum Competency Testing, Program Implementation, Remedial Instruction, State Legislation, State Programs, State School District Relationship, Test Interpretation, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Southeastern Public Education Program, 401 Columbia Building, Columbia, SC 29201 ($5.00)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Southern Education Foundation, Atlanta, GA.
Authoring Institution: Southeastern Public Education Program, Jackson, MS.