About 150 seniors in the Tucson Unified School District will not graduate this month because they failed to pass the state's standardized test for 10th-grade proficiency.
Mark Stegeman, president of Tucson Unified School District’s governing board, says these are students who took the test their sophomore, junior and senior years in high school, and still did not pass.
The solution, he says, is a long-term change in educating students.
"We’re going to fix it by going to earlier grades, so that by the time they get to 10th grade, they’re ready for 10th grade instead of just going on, going on, going on, and then when they get to 12th grade they can’t graduate," Stegeman says.
A new state law that took effect last year limits the number of students who can boost their graduation chances by getting good grades, even if their test scores scores are low.
Several Southern Arizona school districts allowed students to walk at graduation a year ago even if they didn’t meet the requirements, because the law was changed during their senior year. This year, Stegeman says it would be unfair to make another exception.