Alabama Department of Education Nixes Graduation Exam

There is a big change coming this school year for high school seniors in Alabama.

This year's high school seniors will not have to take the graduation exam.

Today the State Board of Education voted to get rid of it as a requirement for a diploma.

In past years, it could make or break your chances of getting that important piece of paper, your diploma.

"You look at kids we have here today, they work hard in the classroom but they just may not be able to pass that test," HCHS Teacher Brandon Barnes said.

"I have students who do poorly on different exams, whether it be test anxiety or it just be a bad day that day. They work very hard and for one test to hold them back that's very hard for the students and the parents to accept," HCHS Counselor Joy Pitchford said.

The new requirement for graduating will now be passing all required courses.

"To be able to have that satisfaction knowing how much work I've put into this kid everyday is going to pay off and when they leave here they will be able to leave with a diploma and go out and get a great job," Barnes said.

"We need to take our resources now and focus on a new plan and getting these students what they need to be successful in the future," Houston County Test Coordinator Cas Haddock said.

Public schools will give the A.C.T college entrance exam to all eleventh graders.

Those scores will measure how students are doing in meeting the state school board's goal of having every grad ready for college or a career.

"There's not much we can do as teachers to help them once they get out of high school and we just work hard, do our best to prepare them for the future whether it be to go to college or go into the workforce," Barnes said.

Houston county superintendent Tim Pitchford says a lot is still up in the air, particularly when it comes to other requirements for grads in the next few years.


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