High school graduation and its diploma should require passing a competence examination. That should motivate students and teachers and produce graduates who are literate, numerate and employable.
That would be challenging for students and educators, but why would we want less for our children?
Unfortunately, it is the nature of public education that a competence examination has certainly already been considered and, equally certain, to have been rejected, but why?
In May of this year, and in their junior year, 60 percent of Lewiston’s class of 2014 failed to score proficient or better when they took their SAT. For those who would prefer to deny or dismiss the SAT results, we also know that nearly 50 percent of the high school graduates from the class of 2012, after enrolling at the community college and based upon placement testing, had to take a remedial course.
Summer school will, of course, be necessary for those unable to pass the competence examination. That would include more than half of Lewiston’s class of 2014 and many members from the classes of 2015, 2016 and 2017.
This is where common sense must step forward. Wouldn’t it make better sense for high school students to take a competence examination, or the placement test, while they are in high school, where their shortcomings can be corrected, instead of waiting until they enter community college and have to pay for non-credit remedial courses?
Otherwise, we can only pray for the community college to terminate placement testing.
Richard Sabine, Lewiston