Two more years
Well, they did it. California’s school board postponed implementation of the graduation exam for two years; it will go into effect for the class of 2006. Most seniors in the class of 2004 were expected to pass the English Language Arts exam eventually, despite the high numbers of immigrant students. But analysts predicted as many as 20 percent of seniors would be unable to earn a passing score — 55 percent on a four-choice multiple choice test — in math.
Protesting students carried signs saying, “Two Years Is Not Enough.” They say it’s unfair to “punish” them for not having received a “quality education.” Actually, it doesn’t take new textbooks and clean restrooms to pass the graduation exam: A basic education will do it.
The San Jose Mercury News talked to a student who resents the juniors’ and seniors’ easy ride to a diploma.
“That’s not fair because they get to go free,” said 14-year-old Austin Kleesman, who will be a freshman at Milpitas High School in the fall. “They can just pass classes and we have to learn everything from middle school all the way up.”