Arkansas Tests Will be De-Facto Graduation Exams

FEBRUARY 3, 2006 - Posted at 8:02 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - In a few years, getting a high school diploma in Arkansas will require students to pass what will amount to statewide proficiency exams in mathematics, science and literacy.

Currently, no such statewide standard exists, and those who get passing grades in all courses required by the state may be awarded diplomas.

But that will change as consequences stiffen for students who fail the statewide exams.

This year, students who score below proficient on the Algebra One, geometry or 11th-grade literacy exams will lose credit for those courses unless they participate in a remediation program.

Beginning in 2009-10, students will actually have to pass each of the state exams to receive credit for those courses.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)