Should the Graduation Exam Be Required?

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Should the Graduation Exam be required?

The Alabama High School Graduation Exam should not be required for students. The AHSGE test was instituted in 2001 to test the preparedness and qualification of high school students to face further education and the outside society with a high school diploma. The AHSGE test is now mandatory before students can be awarded a high school diploma in Alabama. Research shows that standardized tests are racially bias; these tests do not determine a student’s level of knowledge and some school administration do not effectively enforce the necessary skills for the test. Students in the 10th grade are eligible to take the exam up to the 12th grade. Within this time, students have six opportunities to try to pass the exam. The exam is designed so that an 11th grader could pass it.

One fault of standardized tests is that they do not take diversity into consideration. Many tests today are written so that white, middle-class and English speaking Americans can succeed. More aspects of diversity are disabilities, test anxiety, cultural bias, language differences, gender and socioeconomic status. Among the learners in a diverse environment are visual learners. The Graduation Exam does not fulfill the proper requirements necessary to assist the student.

Unfortunately, what students are tested on does not always match up to with what they are taught in classes. In a study done at MSU, almost 20 years ago, researchers found that as many as 50% of the items on the nationally standardized achievement test may cover topics that students would not cover in the classroom. Often, when the results return teachers and advisors spend more time punishing students and not enough time helping them improve their scores. In January 2008 George W. Bush signed the new act “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND” that will use test results to punish schools who cannot overcome long-standing poverty, racism, and neglect. This act serves to ensure that all children...
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