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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

End of course exams cloud 57,000 Florida students future

From the Orlando Sentinel, by Leslie Postal

Thousands of students — upwards of 66,000 across Florida — failed the state’s new (and required) algebra exam this past school year.

More than 28,000 of them tried again to pass this summer, retaking Florida’s end-of-course algebra 1 exam.

Only 32 percent of them passed on their second try, according to data from the Florida Department of Education.

That means that statewide more than 57,000 students still need to pass the exam — some because they didn’t try again this summer and some because they did and failed again.

The next testing opportunity runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19 (each school district will decide when in that window it will give them algebra test).

The exam is a graduation requirement for teenagers who entered ninth grade last year (this year’s sophomore class) and for those in the classes behind them.

The complicated thing is that many of the students who didn’t pass the algebra test passed their algebra 1 class. So they’ll be taking geometry this school year — but still must study and prepare for the algebra exam.

School administrators said they’ll offer a variety of ways for that to happen, perhaps in a class, after school or on Saturdays.

But they are worried about those students because geometry also comes with a required end-of-course exam, so they’ll be staring at that, too, come spring.

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