Graduation Tests Antidemocratic

Graduation Tests Antidemocratic - Mr. Aaren Yandrich...

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Mr. Aaren Yandrich English 112 April 7, 2009 High School Graduation Tests: Antidemocratic In order to graduate high school, a USATODAY article states that 25 states require their students pass a high school graduation test (par. 2). I was required to take the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) in my sophomore year of high school. The Ohio Department of Education claims that the Ohio Ninth-Grade Proficiency Tests have been replaced with the Ohio Graduation Tests “to ensure that students are armed with the knowledge they need in this global economy to be successful in the work place and higher education,” (pg 1). The high school graduating class of 2007 was the first class that was responsible for passing all 5 tests that make up the OGT in order for students to receive their diplomas. I can recall my teachers taking out a significant amount of class time to go over material that would appear on the test. To my benefit, I attended an all girls, private, Catholic high school. I am aware that due to the small sizes of my classes and the dedication of my teachers that I was privileged in having special time allotted to reviewing similar material that would appear on the OGT. Unfortunately, not all high school students are given this opportunity. While many students may feel high school graduation tests are easy and almost painless, I often wonder how difficult these tests are for those students in underprivileged, inner city schools. To me, high school graduation tests are simply antidemocratic. This brings me to my next point as to why I am convinced high school graduation tests are antidemocratic. The claim by most states is that these high school graduation tests are aimed to measure whether or not students are ready for college and/or the working field. However, USATODAY reports that a study released in 2004 by the Center on Education Policy, a nonprofit research group found that “most of the states gear their tests toward 10 th or 11 th grade learning, and some gauge pre-9th grade skills.” I consider this completely antidemocratic. Why should these
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graduation tests be implemented, paid for, and structured into school’s curriculum when they are purposefully being made easier in order for the majority of students to pass? High school graduation tests need to be revised based on a national average. In addition, failure to pass the
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Graduation Tests Antidemocratic - Mr. Aaren Yandrich...

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