Graduating without making the grade?

Thursday, June 30, 2011
 | 
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)
One school official doesn't think high school students in a California school district should be able to walk in their graduation ceremonies if they haven't passed the state exit exam.

High school students in the state must pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) in order to graduate. But officials of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District in Orange County have informed the Daily Pilot that they will simply assume students have passed the test, as they do not want to deny students the experience of walking with their classmates. James Na (Chino Valley)James Na, president of the Chino Valley Unified School District, says offering a certificate of completion to students who have not passed the exam actually devalues a diploma. So he suggests there should be a separate ceremony for those students. "Those who are receiving a certificate of completion will have a separate ceremony, versus the diploma, because we are undercutting the value of a diploma that students have received with confusing the certificate of completion here," he reasons. The students who meet requirements for graduation but fail the exit exam are given the chance to retake the test. But the results are not known until after graduation.

"When they have completed credit with a 2.0 GPA, it shows their commitment to education as well," Na notes. "So we will congratulate them. But we also like to put the bar a little high so that all students can receive diplomas."

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