This year, in Paterson, more than 40 percent of the seniors took the special test [given to students who can’t pass the standard test]. In a handful of districts, the figure is closer to 60 percent.
That’s unacceptable. State education officials say they are changing the alternative test so that it will be given over a matter of weeks, not months, and graded outside of the district, not by local teachers.
But, realistically, these changes will not end the two-tiered graduation system that exists in New Jersey. And without closing the achievement gap, far too many New Jersey high school seniors will graduate deprived of the education they are entitled to. They will have the diploma, which means something. But what about the skills they need?
The Record Editorial Board on the State Board of Education’s decision to increase requirements for high school graduation in spite of the fact that many poor high school seniors can’t meet current requirements.