Exam rules change

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2008

By By Lydia Grimes – features reporter
Alabama high school students may have less stress when graduation testing begins next year.
The state board of education recently decided students who pass at least three out of the five sections of the graduation exam should be allowed to graduate.
The decision to allow those changes to effect Brewton area studnets is left up to local school boards for approval of implementation.
Brewton and the Escambia County School Boards will consider implementing the changes in the graduation rules in upcoming meetings
Escambia County Schools Superintendent Billy Hines said the decision will be left to the board members.
Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith, said the matter will also be considered by the board for the system.
Under the new changes, a student must pass the math and reading sections of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam, and to pass at least one of the other sections, which are English, science and social studies.
The school boards will now have to decide whether the new rule should be put to use immediately and allow students who still haven't passed one or two sections to receive their diplomas. According to the decree, all schools must comply by the 2009-2010 school year.
Smith said if the new rules are put into place immediately, more students at T.R. Miller HIgh School would be able to graduate with their peers.
The county school system also has students who will benefit from the decree.
The Escambia County Board of Education will meet Thursday, May 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the central office on Belleville Avenue. The City of Brewton Board of Education will meet on Monday, May 19, at 5 p.m. at the central office on Belleville Avenue. The decision whether to implement now or later will be on the agenda.
The Alabama Department of Education has required students to pass the graduation exam for several years. But in those years the tests have increased in difficulty raising the eighth grade level to 11th grade level while adding science and social studies sections to the exam. In 2004, the state required students to pass all five of the sections in order to graduate.

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