Special education students in Arizona, about 10 percent of the state’s student population, will be able to graduate without passing the state’s high school exit exam—provided they pass their classes—state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne announced last week.
About 80 percent of the 6,000 sophomores in special education classes failed at least one of the three portions of the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS, last fall and were in danger of not graduating.
Mr. Horne consulted Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard at that time on the legality of allowing the students to receive diplomas as long as they meet the goals for their individual education plans and pass their classes.
Mr. Goddard issued an opinion Feb. 9 affirming the idea and said local school boards are responsible for setting graduation requirements for students in special education.
A version of this article appeared in the February 16, 2005 edition of Education Week