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Seniors take different paths to pass

January 06, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- In order to receive a Maryland high school diploma, the graduating class of 2009 will be required to pass High School Assessments in four subjects.

That requirement can be met in a variety of ways, including taking a test, completing a project or having the requirement waived if the student meets certain criteria. Washington County Public Schools officials said Tuesday that most recent data shows some seniors have taken and failed the tests, and some have not taken the tests, but the majority have passed the exams.

Students are required to complete assessments in algebra, biology, English and government. About 26 members of the graduating class of 2009 have taken the algebra exam but not met the requirement, and another four have not taken the exam, according to data released during a public business meeting of the Washington County Board of Education.

In the data provided Tuesday, the total number of seniors considered is 1,457.

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Those numbers were recorded in December and included the results of October exams.

About 53 students have taken the biology exam but not met the requirement, and 11 have not taken the test. Of the students who took the English exam, 58 failed and did not meet the requirement -- the most of any of the subjects. Only two have not taken the exam.

About 38 students have taken the government exam but not met the requirement, and 26 have not taken the test.

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction Donna Hanlin said the majority of students who have not taken the exams have transferred from outside the state. She said they often were not offered government courses at their previous schools.

"We are in great shape in Washington County," Hanlin said.

Hanlin said officials work with students to find the best route to meeting the graduation requirement.

"Some students have taken the tests a number of times and are not good test takers," Director of Secondary Education Clyde Harrell said.

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