A description of those affected most by the exit exams will be given, and a look at what some districts are doing to improve test scores will be worthwhile.
Exits exams have many aliases, including proficiency tests, graduation exams, minimum competency exams (MCEs) and mandatory exit exams (MEEs). The bottom line to all of them is that even if a student finished the 12th grade with the minimum required grade point average, and the mandatory amount of credits, no diploma will be issued until the student passes the exit exam required by the state. As of June 2008, students in 23 states will have to pass exit exams to receive high school diplomas (Rosenthal, 2008). Some states don't require it yet, but soon will. Students in Maryland, for example, won't have to begin passing the exam until 2009 (Rosenthal, 2008). Other school districts, though, are begging out of the exam. Two years ago, "Utah pulled back from making exit exams mandatory" (No New States, 2006). In California, lawsuits were filed when students didn't receive diplomas, based solely on the inability to pass a proficiency exam, but the California Supreme Court upheld the state's decision to withhold diplomas when students failed to prove minimum competency using the exam. Decisions like that have sparked debate all over the United States. Proponents believe it is a good idea for various reasons. ...Show more