This article in the New York Times describes new graduation requirements in Pennsylvania.
The article says they are similar to Wash state’s:
By Sean D. Hamill
Four additional states — Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma and Washington — will require graduation exams by 2012, two years before the Pennsylvania requirement would take effect. Connecticut is debating the idea.
Policy makers like the requirement because “communities are telling them that American kids are leaving high school without adequate skills,” the education center’s president, John F. Jennings, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
“Report after report shows that American kids are not competing with kids in other industrialized countries,” Mr. Jennings said. “They don’t know as much; they don’t graduate as often.”
In 2006, for example, 57,000 of the 127,000 seniors who graduated from Pennsylvania’s 501 public school districts had not achieved proficiency on the assessment tests, officials said.
“As a former principal and superintendent,” the state education secretary, Gerald L. Zahorchak, told the Board of Education on Thursday, “I know I shook the hands of a number of students at graduation who were really receiving an empty diploma.”
Think ISATs. It’s that sort of thing, Pennsylvania-style. It isn’t just a Washington thing.
QUESTION: Do you feel schools are preparing you with the skills you need to be a productive adult who can go out and kick-butt in the world? Do you feel the ISATs and other performance-based tests can assess that for the state?