ERIC Number: EJ982536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
High School Board Exams: New Life or More of the Same for Public Education?
Cooper, Mary Ann
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v77 n8 p61-64 Apr 2012
The Department of Education has been under attack by people motivated by the perceived failure of the system to improve educational achievement on the elementary and high school levels or the desire to dramatically reduce spending and waste during troubled economic times. A new program introduced in four states seems to address competency and spending--but is it the tonic needed to invigorate or just a Band-Aid on the social compact of public education? The program allows 10th-graders who are able to pass competency tests in key subjects the opportunity to receive a high school diploma and immediately enroll in a community college. If students fail these so-called board exams, they can retake them in junior and senior years. Students who pass them can opt to stay in high school and finish their junior and senior years with college-prep courses so they can apply to a four-year institution. The program Excellence for All (formerly the Board Examination Systems Program) was organized by the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) and is modeled after programs in Denmark, England, Finland, France, and Singapore. The idea is that this narrow cast, double-down approach, focusing 9th- and 10th-grade studies on basic skills, would reduce the number of high school graduates (now more than a million) enrolling in college who still need remedial courses. These students completed high school with the expectation that they are prepared for college-level courses only to find that they can't take them without first passing remedial courses. The students are more likely to become discouraged and drop out. NCEE suggests that Excellence for All would reduce the need for remediation, the number of college dropouts, and the necessity of remedial courses at community colleges, because the board exams for the 10th grade would tie passing grades to what a student would need to know to pass a first-year college course.
Descriptors: Public Education, Educational Practices, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Administration, Grade 9, Grade 10, Community Colleges, Remedial Instruction, Dual Enrollment, Criticism, Problem Solving, Minimum Competency Testing, History Instruction, Mathematics Achievement, Science Achievement, Program Implementation, Financial Support, Acceleration (Education)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 9; High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Connecticut; Kentucky; Mississippi