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Document Number: 5641

Tennessee’s Graduation Exams: Past, Present, and Future - Since 1983, Tennessee has required high school students to pass an exam before graduating high school with a regular diploma. This requirement has gone through several changes since its inception, and beginning in 2005 a new test – the Gateway exam – will be administered as an end-of-course exam in three high school courses—Algebra I, English II and Biology I. This report discusses the importance of improving Tennessee’s graduation rate and the history of graduation exams in the state. The report also lists possible legislative alternatives to monitor and improve the effectiveness of the new tests and administrative alternatives. In addition, the author examines the pros and cons of five alternatives to exams. (John G. Morgan, Office of Education Accountability, State of Tennessee, November 2004)...

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