Superintendents baffled, relieved at new test scores - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Superintendents baffled, relieved at new test scores


The Mississippi Department of Education this month gave 2,100 high school seniors a sixth chance to retake the required state test for graduation, and tensions are still running high.

While some students took the emergency test on Friday, others have to wait until Tuesday for their last chance to redeem themselves before graduation day. If the students do not pass the state test, state legislation bans students from all graduation activities.

Superintendent of Jones County School District, Tommy Parker, reports that three out of the 16 students who failed the state test passed the sixth chance. Superintendent of Laurel School District, Chuck Benigno, says seven out of the 19 students who failed the state test passed the emergency exam.

"We're thrilled these students passed, and they will get to fully participate in all graduation activities as a result of passing the exam," Benigno said.

While this is an exciting time for those who got another chance, it's a disappointing time for others.

Tommy Parker says students who can't pass the state test are being held back from a monumental life experience, which is high school graduation.

State law requires students to pass the state test, and if they don't by graduation, they're automatically deemed "dropout," according to Parker.

Parker says while he's glad the majority of students in the Jones County School District passed the exam, he is still concerned for the students who did not pass.

"Nine students out of the students who did not pass couldn't pass the United States History portion," Parker said.

"Some students have a hard time comprehending the complexity of the exam."

The turnout of Hattiesburg High School and Lamar County Schools will be reported within the next 48 hours.

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