States' High School Exit Exams
"When the results of statewide tests were released in late May, high school senior Eric Lira had scored 286 on the reading exam--one point less than he needed to pass. That means Mr. Lira, who is earning A's in advanced placement calculus and honors physics this semester and has a 3.3 grade-point average, won't receive a diploma when his class graduates from Miami Senior High School on June 12.
"Without the diploma, Mr. Lira, who is 19 years old and arrived from Nicaragua three years ago speaking no English, won't be able to go on to college. 'My future is broke. Everything. By one test,' he said, dropping his face into his hands during an interview in his guidance counselor's office."
--June Kronholz, States' High School Exit Exams Are Political Minefields, Wall Street Journal, 6/6/03
I believe kids should graduate actually knowing something, and that accountability of schools, teachers, and students is part of that. Is this the way? Go look at the wonders achieved on Amazon.com. Surely we can be more creative about communicating this student's status than this.
The article also decribes areas where schools pull back in order to achieve test scores (like writing).