"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

High School Exit Exams: No Benefit to Passers, Big Harm to Failers

From MyFox9 in Minneapolis:
Created: Monday, 12 May 2008, 11:23 AM CDT
Last Edited: Monday, 12 May 2008, 11:23 AM CDT

MINNEAPOLIS -- State-mandated high school exit exams harm students who fail and provide no benefit to those who pass, according to new research from the University of Minnesota and University of California, Davis.

Approximately three million U.S. high school seniors graduate each year, but tens of thousands of students have their graduation put on hold because they have yet to pass state-mandated high school exit exams.

U of M sociology professor John Robert Warren and Eric Grodsky at the University of California, Davis have challenged the value of state exit exams.

They found state exit exams reduce high school completion rates and neither boost academic achievement nor improve graduates' post-high school labor market prospects.

State high school exit exam policies have been implemented in recent decades to ensure that graduates have the skills required to succeed in college and in the 21st century global economy. The exams in place in 23 states and affect about two of every three students in the class of 2008.

In a study shows no measurable impact on the reading or math achievement levels of 13 to 17-year old students. In another study, Warren and Grodsky found students earning diplomas in states requiring exit exams experienced the same chances of getting a job and the same wage rates as those who were not required to pass exit exams.

“For many people denying diplomas to some students in order to more broadly boost academic achievement is an acceptable trade-off,” Warren said. “But there’s no evidence that exit exams boost the academic achievement or workplace preparedness of U.S. high school students.” . . .

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