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News Brief

11/15/13

Alabama School Board Ends Graduation Exams

Montgomery Advertiser (AL) (11/15/13) Rawls, Phillip

The Alabama Board of Education voted to eliminate the high school graduation exam for students who were ninth-graders in academic year 2010-11 and seniors this school year. Students who were in ninth grade before 2010-11 and are one or two grade levels behind will still need to pass the exam to graduate. State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice says that the exam is no longer a good measurement of the board's goal to have every graduate ready for college or career. "It will no longer be required. If they pass their course work, they will graduate from high school," he says. The school board is moving toward end-of-course exams for major required courses, and exams already are in place for tenth-grade English and Algebra 1, though there is no specific score that students must earn on the exams. "This is our baseline year, and we will take the results from this year to determine the baseline from which to set scores as we move forward," Bice explains. As the budget permits, the school board plans to add more end-of-course exams. Public schools also will give the ACT college entrance exam to all 11th-graders, though it will not be a graduation requirement.
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