Maryland Board of Education to raise graduation standards
Graduating high school in the Maryland education system is going to get a bit tougher, if new State Board of Education regulations go through. As of now, high schoolers can graduate as long as they pass their classes, and then simply take the standardized exams testing math and verbal skills.
Under the proposal, they would have to score at least 1450 next school year to graduate. That minimum would jump every year through 2019-2020.
Wicomico County Superintendent Dr. John Frederickson explains to 47ABC that in the past, students would more or less regurgitate equations written on the blackboard, now the algebra tests will be word problems. “so you not only have to do the reading side of it, you have to figure out what the words mean in mathematics, then you have to translate that into a math process, and that’s tough for anybody to do, particularly if you’re kid in school” Frederickson says.
Last year, according to an AP report citing the Board of Education, less than 50% of students who took the tests met or exceeded expectations , and one Salisbury resident says the system needs to address this “raising the standard is great but if they can also at the same time you know give the education the help those students need to make it because obviously there’s a real big gap there”.
Since the plan will be gradually implemented, Dr. Frederickson says the board is making sure the students have enough time to get adjusted, and tells 47ABC that’s to the students advantage: “it’s an opportunity to sit down and really show your work on a computer with live and real time stuff – and they just need a chance to get adjusted to it” he says. But one Fruitland resident thinks it’s going to take much more than a gradual increase in required scores. “The kids just aren’t getting the learning that they need in school to to pass these tests – and it needs to be completely revamped” she tells 47ABC.
The Board of Education is expected to soon publish the proposition in the registry, where it will then undergo a 30 day public comment period.