By DAVE McMILLION
The state Board of Education will make a series of new high school assessment tests part of a requirement for graduation, a move one local school official fears will drive up the dropout rate.
State officials said it is unclear how the series of tests will be tied to a diploma.
Possible requirements could involve passing all of the tests, passing a portion of the tests, or achieving a certain composite score on the exams, said Ron Peiffer, spokesman for the state Department of Education.
"There may be other options," said Peiffer, who said the requirement is scheduled to take effect in January 2001.
There is no statewide testing program for high school students, but under the proposal, students would be required to get passing grades on 10 of 12 assessment tests covering subjects like English, math, science and social studies.