MALDEN, Mass., April 9 (UPI) — More than 4,100 Massachusetts 12th-graders have yet to pass the science part of a standardized test two months before high school graduation, officials said.
The students, about 6 percent of the state’s 69,000 12th-graders, have repeatedly failed the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam, most recently in February, state education officials said.
The students have one more chance to pass it — Wednesday — to receive a diploma with their classmates.
Education advocates say persistent failure could dishearten many of these students to the point they give up on receiving a diploma, even as the state tries to boost its graduation rate, The Boston Globe reported.
Last year, 81.5 percent of Massachusetts 12th-graders graduated four years after entering high school.
The science requirement, started this year, is intended to help high school graduates be prepared for careers in health and science fields and to improve their ability to navigate a world increasingly reliant on technology, officials said.
The state gives science exams in biology, chemistry, physics and technology/engineering. Students must pass only one of the tests with at least a “needs improvement” score, the second lowest of four scoring categories, the Globe said.
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