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New graduation test standards

set by Ala. Board of Education

By BETH LAKEY

Staff Writer

July 12, 2000 10 PM

Members of the class of 2001 will have to have at least a 59 on the language and reading portions of the high school graduation exam.

Looking at the students who took the graduation exam in the spring, 45 percent of the class of 2001 would have failed the math part and 36 percent would have failed the science portion.

Some of those students will be taking the exam in less than two weeks.

Toni Stetson of the Troy City School System said the exam will be given July 26, 27 and 28 at the Alternative Learning Center, 211 Lake Avenue.

"This will be an opportunity for individuals who have not passed the examination to be tested in the subject area or areas which they are required to pass for a high school diploma," Stetson said.

She said the test dates are for former students and those who will be seniors in the 2000-2001 school year.

The reading portion of the test will be given July 26, language on July 27 and math on July 28. Testing will begin at 8 a.m. each day and photo identification must be presented.

Stetson said students should call the Charles Henderson High School office at 566-3510 by July 24 to notify the school if they plan to take one or more subject area tests.

Since the Alabama State Board of Education increased its high school exit exam from the eighth grade level to the 11th, changes have been made.

Earlier this week, the board set passing scores on the math and science portions at 44 percent for those graduating in 2002. But, those percentiles only affect those classes and future graduating classes could be held to other scores.

The state board also approved a new diploma that will be available to those who finish the required courses, but can’t pass the exit exam. However, students can not be put on the alternate diploma track until their senior year.

Those students will go through remediation classes and have to pass the General Education Development test, commonly called the GED, which will enable them to enter a two-year college or the military.

State Superintendent Ed Richardson has predicted 3 to 7 percent of the students may be eligible for the Alternate Adult High School Diploma.

Students have up to six opportunities to pass any portion of the graduation exam and schools provide remediation for those who fail.