Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

In Reversal, Riley Calls for High School Exit Exams

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

In Reversal, Riley Calls for High School Exit Exams

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Every American student should pass a test to get out of high school whether college is planned or not, U.S. Sec. of Education Richard W. Riley said late last month, reversing his past opposition to such win-or-lose measures.

"Years ago, I opposed high-stakes exit exams because minority students really had less chance to succeed in the days immediately following integration," Riley said in his fifth annual back-toschool talk at the National Press Club here.

Riley added that high school students must receive the individual support they need to pass such exams. And the tests should be used to promote success for all.

"We still seem to be using America's high schools as sorting machines, tagging and labeling young people as successful, run-of-the-mill or low achievers," he said.

Currently, 19 states require students to pass exit exams to graduate high school. Another seven plan tests by 2003. Federal law does not require high school tests. …

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