No Test, No College Degree Fed Up with Weak Student Skills, Massachusetts Pushes Entrance, Exit Tests at Four-Year State Colleges

By Mark Clayton, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 22, 1998 | Go to article overview

No Test, No College Degree Fed Up with Weak Student Skills, Massachusetts Pushes Entrance, Exit Tests at Four-Year State Colleges


Mark Clayton, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


If Joe Mara had studied harder in high school, a lot harder, he thinks he might have been admitted to an Ivy League school. But he floated along, and now he's a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

"I was a slacker back then," admits the criminal-justice major. "I did as little as I could - just enough to get by."

Fortunately, he says, this state university campus, with its lobster-boat vistas of Boston Harbor, was one place he could be admitted without being hassled over grades. He's studying hard now, he adds.

But there is trouble afoot for would-be freshmen with Mr. Mara's formerly complacent outlook. Massachusetts last week took the national lead in mandating entrance tests for applicants in the fall of 1999 and exit tests for graduates of its public colleges and universities.

The goal is to ensure that applicants to state schools meet minimum standards for reading, writing, and math - and that college graduates meet certain levels before getting a diploma. Officials also hope testing will help raise academic achievement at public colleges, shift remedial classes to community colleges, and make high schools more accountable.

"There is a move by states to say, 'Look, we don't want to put students in college that need remediation - we want the high schools to do it,' " says Chris Pipho, director of state relations at the Education Commission of the States in Boulder, Colo.

Indeed, Massachusetts is hardly alone in its concern. Many states, including Massachusetts, already use SAT or ACT scores, along with grades and placement tests, to determine whether remedial help is required. But few, if any, use the results to restrict admission or require an exit test for all their four-year schools.

Beside Massachusetts, only Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, and Texas include any testing of basic competency for college-level students beyond placement tests, officials say.

Both Oklahoma and Florida test applicants to state schools. Florida also tests about 40 percent of juniors to ensure minimum competency. Others are excused if they achieve minimum grades in selected courses. Oklahoma requires exit testing, although the test is determined by each institution. Neither Oklahoma nor Florida has a common state-wide exit test for would-be graduates, as Massachusetts has proposed.

The backdrop for the Massachusetts effort is political furor over the 30 percent of incoming freshmen who do not have adequate reading, writing, or math skills to do college work. The number of freshmen at four-year colleges who may take remedial classes has been capped at 10 percent, dropping to 5 percent next year. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

No Test, No College Degree Fed Up with Weak Student Skills, Massachusetts Pushes Entrance, Exit Tests at Four-Year State Colleges
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.