States are dropping exit exams and giving retroactive high school diplomas to former students who never passed the exam, reports Catherine Gewertz in Education Week.
Georgia, Texas and South Carolina have issued thousands of diplomas to people who passed high school courses but failed the exit exam.In California, 35,000 or more people could qualify for diplomas. Arizona and Alaska also will issue retroactive diplomas.
“States are eliminating comprehensive tests in math and English/language arts in favor of end-of-course tests or other measures of high school achievement,” reports Gewertz. Many argue exit exams are “useless because they’re often pegged to 8th- or 9th-grade-level skills.”
That is, the exit exams were too easy.
California dropped its exam because it wasn’t aligned to Common Core State Standards. That is, it was too easy.
So people who couldn’t pass a test of eighth- and ninth-grade skills will receive high school diplomas.
Only 13 states still require students to pass an exit exam to earn a diploma, down from 25 in 2012, according to Jennifer Zinth of Education Commission of the States. Some states are now dropping end-of-course exams too.
They’re too hard.
Hanna Frank, Education Post’s social media manager, threw away her high school diploma, knowing she hadn’t earned it. She took remedial courses at her local community college, using up most of her financial aid, and managed to earn a bachelor’s degree in five years.