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Do you think students should have to pass a high school exit exam in order to graduate?


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lisaedit October 6, 2008


Twenty-six states have a high school exit exam or have plans to put one in place. Do you think these tests are a good thing? What about for special needs students? Should they be required to pass in order to get a diploma?

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trooper November 3, 2008


What will happen if they get out of school and do not have the necessary knowledge and skills to survive?
Exams are not punitive. They are a way of measuring if the student is prepared. I think we are putting a far greater burden on students by allowing them to think they are ready for graduation - when they are not.

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donnalynn November 3, 2008


trooper, no they are not ready to graduate because they are being taught life skills. I would like to know how many students use algebra in their jobs, how many use geography? I mean, im just rattling off here, but i truly think they need to be taught about life, how to pay bills, how to LOVE, how to respect, how to go out and get a good job, how to manage money, manage relationship...i like the colleges that teach you exactly what your there for, not the ones that you have to take reading, writing and math. All kids need to know how to read, write, math and spelling in high school, but why the extra stressful test? What if they truly can't pass the test, and they tried their hardest? How does that make the child feel? Im just thinking and typing, sorry for rambling, but i don't like the test for graduation. How can the test show that they are prepared? Thanks and God Bless.

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tobbyandlui November 3, 2008


I think that if a student is already passing their classes with good grades, why should be tested again. I understand that they do this so kids can be more prepared for college, I think it should only be for the students with lower grades to have them study and get more prepared so they can not be left behind.

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tobbyandlui November 3, 2008


I don't really know how it works with students with special needs, but I assumed that it might be tuff on them to have them to pass this exam so they can have a diploma.

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peacemom71 November 5, 2008


tobbyandlui my thought to your comment on if they are passing their classes why do they need to be tested again...I'll tell you why...CHEATING!! As much as we'd all like to think other wise it happens everyday in every school and if a student can't pass a general knowledge test then there is a problem!!
And right on Trooper.. if they can't pass a test to graduate then the school and parents haven't prepared that student to live a PRODUCTIVE life past high school. I've had many jobs that I had to take different types of tests to get. Lets keep the conversation going!

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peacemom71 November 5, 2008


And Donnalynn passing high school is not about how it will make them FEEL, rather it shows how much they have retained throughout school. I feel this is part of the problem, people are more concerned about how a student feels over what they have learned!

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trooper November 6, 2008


donalynn, I appreciate your thoughts. I know that Algebra, History, English, and Biology tests can seem unfair - the fact is we are preparing our children for the future. Our students are falling behind . The world is changing. Jobs are being eliminated. What once was sufficient for survival in the adult world is no longer enough. I am looking past the present moments. The tests are not designed to exclude - they are meant to establish a standard so that students will be eligible to participate in future opportunities.

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trooper November 6, 2008


peacemom and donnalynn - to address the comment about how a student feels. Just think how students will feel when the are competing for jobs - and they are not qualified - or stuck in a dead end job because they lack the knowledge and skills for advancement!

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donnalynn November 6, 2008


trooper, i understand what u r saying about the competing with others to get a job, so does that mean that we should teach our kids at school more about jobs of interest, how to get jobs and that sort of thing? I know they need to know the algebra, biology, language and science, but i don't think they need to be pressured into the algebra 2 or 3, geometry, biology 2 or 3, chemestry,. Does that make sense? Let's teach them the basics of everything, and then lets teach them life skills, independence, how to go out and get jobs, teach them computers, since everything is going to computer based. Life is changing, and i think we need to teach them about life skills, teach them how to live on their own, how to repair thngs in their home, heating and air, electricity, (which takes math) :) , teach them how to change light bulbs, teach them about how to love and respect, teach them how to change tires, change the oil in their vehicles, mechanical things.Teach them about having kidds, how to take care of them, the responsibility, teach them on how to be leaders, and good followers. Does that make some since?

Shool is soooo stressful for the kidds, and always has been stressful, but more so now days. Test are very stressful, if you don't pass, you get made fun of, or you feel like a failure. Lets teach them basic fundamentals and how to enjoy life, when so many kids dont get to at home.So many kids don't receive love, respect and attention at home. That makes me sad, maybe this needs to be another topic, huh? Thanks for your response Trooper. Take Care and God Bless ya.

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trooper November 6, 2008


donnalynn, You make some excellent points! Basic survival skills are essential. The book knowledge is of no value if you do not know how to apply it to real life - or if you lack the basic interpersonal skills to have meaningful relationships. Much of what you mention refers to issues of responsibility, values, and esteem. I would love to see schools place equal emphasis on the skills once taught in Home economics, Shop, and Physical Education. Perhaps a better indicator of readiness to graduate would include assessments in these areas as well as the testing in the academic areas. It is important to mention that the exit exams only require you to have taken High School English, History, Biology, and Algebra 1. Although diploma requirements include higher level of study in these areas, students attend school to be taught. It is not always easy. But, this is just the beginning of many future challenges our children will face.



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