Maryland’s graduation requirements are more like suggestions, complains a Washington Post editorial. To prevent students from failing, the state has made graduation easier and easier.
The waiver is the latest but most troubling example of the watering down of the high school assessments since they were initiated in 2003. The original requirement that a student earn a minimum score on each test was modified to allow a minimum score on all four tests. Then came the change that allowed students who flunked the tests more than once to do a project to show their mastery of a subject. Now comes the waiver and, bingo, Maryland is right where it started, when diplomas were awarded but not necessarily earned.
The class of ’09 is the first to have to pass tests or complete projects (or get a waiver) in 10th grade English, basic algebra, U.S. government and biology. About 83 percent have passed so far, but the success rate is lower for immigrants, blacks and special educations students.