Center on Education Policy via Huffington Post
"Fewer states are requiring students to pass high school exit exams to graduate, but more states are increasing standardized testing in college- and career-readiness assessment efforts, according to a report released Thursday."
The report by the Center on Education Policy reveals that in the 2010-11 school year:
- Fewer Barrier Exams - 25 states have or plan to implement policies that require students to pass end-of-grade or end-of-course exams to earn a high school diploma -- a figure down from 28 the year before.
- Six more have or plan to implement exit exams that do not mandate a minimum passing standard for graduation.
- Using State Scores In Calculation of Final Course Grade - Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee changed their exit exam requirements that instead factor student scores from those tests into the student's final grade in a course required for graduation.
- 65 percent of all public school students nationwide required to take exit exams for graduation in the 2010-11 school year, compared to 74 percent in 2009-10.
- The trend is moving toward more testing tied to national standards that aim to prepare students for college and careers.
- Of the 31 states that have or plan to implement exit exams, 27 are participating in national guidelines tied to the Common Core State Standards, and 16 of those states plan to replace their current exams with assessments tied to the Common Core.
- Just one state -- Georgia -- actually uses high school exit exams in employee hiring and higher education applications.
- But states are still struggling to keep up. A report last month revealed dismal history education standards in Texas, contributing to a low level of college readiness among the state's high school students.
- In 2006, when the College Readiness Standards were created, 40 percent of Texas college students weren't prepared. Last year, 48 percent of those entering community college and 14 percent of incoming college freshmen needed remedial courses in at least one subject, and the gap is growing.
National figures released in August echo the Texas readiness report:
- Just 25 percent of ACT test-takers met college preparedness standards for English, math, reading and science, whereas nearly one-third didn't meet any of those standards.
- New York's High School Progress Reports released in October revealed that just a quarter of students graduating from New York City high schools this year were prepared for college coursework, and fewer than half of all students enrolled in college four years after entering high school.