Exit Test Lowers Graduation Rate in Cleveland

K-12 Testing

Once again, many Cleveland, Ohio, students are having difficulty with the state's high school graduation test. As of March 1995, nearly 29% of eligible seniors had not passed the exam. The test-taking group represents only 35% of the ninth-grade class of four years ago. Though students in special education classes are exempt from the test requirements, most of the ninth-grade class appears to have dropped out.


Last year, a test-failure rate that was lower than this year's 29% led to substantial remedi-ation efforts, bringing the final pass rate closer to 90% for both African American and white students in Cleveland. The graduation rate, however, was still only 31% of the ninth grade class four years earlier. Cleveland's graduation rate declined substantially when the state made passing the test mandatory (see Examiner, Fall 1994).