States are wimping out on graduation exams, write Checker Finn and Liam Julian on Education Gadfly.
Our attention was seized by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, who days ago signed into law a bill that weakens her state’s exit exam requirement by allowing high school students who don’t pass the AIMS test (thousands don’t) to supplement their meager scores with good grades. The legislation’s justification resides in the statements of students such as Maria Cami, an 18-year-old who maintains a 3.2 GPA but does not, by her own admission, understand math. “I feel like I’m being penalized for something I’m not good at,” said Cami.
Cami believes a high school diploma is an entitlement.
How did she pass her math classes?
Several other states are weakening their requirements, worried that low scorers will give up and drop out.
Gadfly offers ideas to encourage students to complete high school, such as alternative paths to graduation and an end to the “college-or-bust” mentality. The kicker: “Don’t make promises or threats that you don’t intend to keep.”