ERIC Number: ED500441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: N/A
Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams
High school graduation exams are in place in nearly half the states, and more than half the nation's high school students have to pass them to earn a diploma. After a detailed analysis of the mathematics and English language arts exams in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas, Achieve reached three conclusions: (1) Tests are not overly demanding; (2) Exams will need to be strengthened over time to better measure the knowledge and skills high school graduates need to succeed; and (3) States should not rely exclusively on these tests to measure everything that matters in a young person's education. The tests set a floor for students that states can responsibly defend as a graduation requirement. In states where the exit exams are being debated, Achieve encourages policymakers not to lower the standards or delay implementation. If states stay the course with these exams and make the necessary investments to improve teaching and learning, they will find that their students will rise to the challenge. When sufficient numbers of students pass these tests, states should continue to raise the floor to reflect the demands students will face in postsecondary education and the world of work. A summary of methodology is appended. (Contains 10 footnotes, 18 figures, and 5 tables.)
Descriptors: High Schools, Graduation, High School Graduates, Exit Examinations, Expectation, Graduation Requirements, Difficulty Level, Low Achievement, Mathematics Tests, Language Arts, Academic Standards
Achieve, Inc. 1775 Eye Street NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-419-1540; Fax: 202-828-0911; Web site: http://www.achieve.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools
Sponsor: Prudential Foundation, Newark, NJ.
Authoring Institution: Achieve, Inc., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; Ohio; Texas