Though more than half the nation’s public high school students must pass exit exams to graduate, high scores on the tests don’t necessarily translate into adequate preparation for college or work, concludes a report by the Center on Education Policy.
The report found that 65 percent of public high school students must pass the exams to earn a diploma. Of the 23 states that responded to the Washington-based center’s questions, only six said their exit exams measure the skills needed for college, and only nine states said their tests measure skills needed for success in the workplace.
Twenty-six states have exit exams in place or will soon have them in place, the report says. The report also notes that 18 states said their tests were designed to measure mastery of the state curriculum and provide state policymakers with information on student progress.
The report recommends that states develop ways of evaluating the effectiveness of efforts to increase passing rates on the exit exams.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week