State superintendent Tom Horne pushing for graduation test
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- One test could stand between a student and a diploma. “I’m pushing for a test that students should pass to graduate which we had when I was superintendent,” said Tom Horne, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.
He called it one of his priorities, saying he feels this will add more value to the high school diploma. “Employers know that employment means something, and we don’t graduate any illiterate students,” he explained. Horne said this test was originally in place in the 2000s but was taken away. “It was a great motivation for students to study,” he said.
Those who are opposed to this proposition feel a single test should not determine if a student is ready for the real world and only adds to the number of tests students already have to take. “We have end-of-quarter tests, end-of-chapter tests, we have the AZ merit test, now we have a civic test students have to take for graduation,” said Marisol Garcia, the president of the Arizona Education Association.
She is against the idea of this ‘pass a test to graduate’ proposal. She said education has changed over the years. High school students can now take a wide variety of classes, and more goes into determining if a student is ready for the world than a single standardized test. “A test is not going to measure if a student is prepared for jobs outside of high school or going to a trade school or community college. They need to prove that they have a depth of knowledge on a variety of things in order to graduate, and that is already assessed,” said Garcia.
Garcia said she’s been in talks with Horne in the hopes he hears her concerns and doesn’t go forward with his plan. Horne said the test in the past was a sophomore-level exam in which students had multiple chances to pass.
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