Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

letters

Exit exam is a drag on state’s graduation rate

It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, that Massachusetts’ graduation rate does not make the top 10 in the nation (“Mass. schools miss key top-10 list,” Metro, Nov. 27). An important reason is our high school graduation test. The National Academy of Sciences found that exit exams lower graduation rates. Yet they do not improve educational quality or student success in college or work.

Using exit exams to ensure that students possess adequate knowledge and skills does not work. Our New England neighbors and nine out of the 11 states with higher graduation rates do not require students to pass a graduation test.

Continue reading below

Massachusetts policy makers often attribute our students’ top scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress to our exit exam. But the truth is that our students were among the top performers on that measure before MCAS became a graduation requirement.

Completing high school leads to higher earnings, lower incarceration rates, and more stable families. To help students and our state gain these benefits, we should eliminate the MCAS graduation test.

Monty Neill

Executive director

FairTest

Jamaica Plain

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week