Maryland students who failed repeatedly at end-of-course tests still would be able to graduate by submitting projects that demonstrate mastery of a subject, under a proposal unveiled last week by state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.
“We see this as something for 2,000 to 3,000 kids, tops,” said Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Education. While districts would have the freedom to design their projects, they would have to meet the standard of the high school assessments, he added.
Starting with the class of 2009, students must pass tests in algebra, English, biology, and government to graduate. Of the 55,000 students expected to take the end-of-course tests in algebra in Maryland that year, about 51,000 are expected to pass.
Other states also offer alternatives to students who fail to pass end-of-course tests, although the options vary widely.