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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Presto chango! You're 'graduation ready'

Photo: Emily Ranquist/Pexels

New Jersey just doubled the percentage of students who are "graduation ready" in reading, writes Chrif Cerf, the former state superintendent. It was easy. The state school board lowered the minimum passing score on New Jersey's high school graduation test.

The pass rate in reading went from 39 percent to 80 percent. In math, the pass rate went from 49.5 percent to 56.5 percent. This "undermines the critical goal of equity," argues Cerf.

One board member who supported lowering the passing score suggested that it was “unfair” to “Black and Latino students” to require underperforming students to demonstrate a higher level of proficiency in reading and math before graduating. This gets it exactly backward. Every student, regardless of race or economic circumstances, should be launched into adulthood ready for success.

The message to New Jersey families is clear, writes Cerf. "Expect less, get less."

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