At The Corner, Linsey Burke writes:
In New Jersey, students have as many as three chances to pass the state high-school exit exam. That’s right — three. Three chances to earn a passing grade of 50 percent on a test that is written at the middle-school level. Students have three chances to score 50 percent or better on a middle-school-level test in order to graduate high school.
But students who are unable to reach even that hurdle are given yet another opportunity to get a diploma. They can take the Special Review Assessment (SRA), an alternative test administered to high-school students who fail the state exit exam, and 39 percent of Newark students took the SRA in the study year.
But the N.J. Department of Education recently audited the SRA exam and found that an astonishingly high percentage of students who had to take the SRA exam had taken and ostensibly passed their core high-school courses: 86 percent of students taking the SRA had passed Geometry; 90 percent had passed Algebra I; 91 percent had passed high-school biology.