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Should High School Students Take The Exit Exam

1218 words - 5 pages

1 October 2001 High School Students Should Not Have To Take an Exit Exam Graduating from high school is a strenuous challenge for any high school student. Add to that the vigor's of preparing for college aptitude test such as the ACT and the SAT; a student faces an even higher degree of difficulty. As if the aptitude tests are not already enough, include the high stakes, do or die high school exit exam and the student faces a crisis instead of graduation. Requiring students to take an exit exam is as unfair as James Baldwin not receiving service and then told "We don't serve Negroes here"(140) because of his race. Due to its multiple reasons of unfairness, exit exams should not be a requirement for graduation from high school and school board officials around the nation should do away with the test.According to the Education Commission of the States, more than half of the states in the United States either now, or will soon require students to pass some form of assessment as a prerequisite for graduation. Protest and lawsuits have led some of the remaining states to sit back and wait or investigate methods of assessment. A few of the states that have conducted studies of their exit exams show that the exams fail to accurately assess the standards of the students. These "one size fits all standardized exams assume that every child learns in the same way at the same time. Fortunately for society, young people have all kinds of intellect. Some excel at academic work. Others have vocational or artistic talents that the test do not measure"(Neill). These facts seem to be extremely unfair.The first reason for abolishing the exit exam is that it does not assess special education and second language students fairly. While conducting the research for this argument, I found that in many states students who have English as their second language and students whom require special needs, the exit exam is still mandatory. These test are constructed to challenge students who have had English their entire lives and who contain normal learning abilities. None of the states, with an exit exam program in place, have versions of these exams that cater to the special or unusual needs of these types of students.As always, a concern for funding exists and these test prove to be very expensive, which is the second focus of my argument. Many schools lack necessary funding needed to stay modernized and up to date with technology. These tests are costly and very much a waste. There are other needs that this money could support such as books, computers, and supplies. Also, this money could lean toward the hiring of more teachers, so that amount of students in the classes become smaller and the students receive more personalized instruction.Another problem to consider is the uselessness of the exit exam. A study conducted by Charles Rooney a member of the National Center for Fair and Open testing states that, "[More than 275 colleges and universities across the United States,...

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