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In Wisconsin, state legislators backed off plans to require high school graduation tests because of strong opposition by parents from affluent suburbs. One parent group calling itself ďAdvocates for EducationĒ argued that high-stakes testing would not be fair to children and would hurt educational quality in schools.
Critics of graduation tests were worried that tests would put too much pressure on children. Suburban parents lobbied parent-teacher organizations, and state legislators eventually scrapped graduation test before a single high-school student had taken it.
Similarly, New York and Massachusetts officials yielded to pressure by parents to set low passing grades for their new graduation tests. In Virginia and Arizona, state boards of education have backed away from graduation tests that were too tough for even so-called better schools. Only 7 percent of schools in Virginia met new achievement standards, and 9 out of 10 sophomores in Arizona schools failed a new math test.
In New York City, school authorities estimated that over 30 percent of cityís 11th-graders would not be eligible to graduate if English language standard that will take effect next year was being applied today. Diane Ravitch of Brookings Institute in Washington is a longtime analyst of New Yorkís public-school system She estimated that in some neighborhoods, less than 5 percent of high-school seniors would qualify to graduate under new standards.
Parents, particularly those with younger children, should take heed. You donít want to end up with high-school kids who may not graduate because they canít pass new tests.
In Chapters 8, 9, and Resource section of "Public Schools, Public Menace," I explore how you can circumvent these serious problems by finding real education alternatives outside public schools.
Joel Turtel is the author of ďPublic Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children." Website: www.mykidsdeservebetter.com, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 718-447-7348. Article Copyrighted © 2005 by Joel Turtel. NOTE: You may post this Article on another website only if you set up a hyperlink to Joel Turtelís email address and website URL, www.mykidsdeservebetter.com