Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pa. official explains plan for high school graduation exam

Pa. official explains plan for high school graduation exam: Pa. official explains plan for high school graduation exam
Wednesday, January 02, 2008

By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania high school students would take a graduation exam in stages under a proposal state Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak discussed this morning with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board.
So, what do you think of this? Reactions welcomed.

The exam would come into play when the present 6th grade class gets to graduation. That's a long time away. I would think, and hope, that the timeline for a district wide exam could be put into place much sooner.

Who gets to speak at the 'hearing?' Is there any public comment? Or, do the experts get to do all the thinking and grading?

Would the need for an exam be something that the PA Board of Ed can do without any legislative action on the part of those that are elected?

To pilot a program sounds a bit like being 'lab rats.' I'm not sure I want our kids being 'test testers.'

Again, the 'officials' have proposed a graduation exam. That's a local aim from 'officials.' But, the officials are not the customers, the parents, the taxpayers nor the ones who need to be 'consulted.'

If the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship depends upon the performance on a test -- why is it important to have the kids in school for a certain amount of days to qualify for the scholarship. If this is a test for performance sake -- then set that as the priority. If this is a scholarship for good behavior and attendance -- then performance and test taking should not matter.

The real 'test' for the kids comes in both getting into the college or university of their choice. And, next, they need to not flunk out once they are there.

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