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Less than 2.3 percent of seniors won't graduate

The state released its almost final numbers yesterday on the number of students who won't meet the high school assessment requirement and will fail to graduate. I have a story in today's paper. There are lots more kids who have been lost along the way during the process of moving from ninth to 12th grade, but these are the students held back by just the HSAs.

The news was remarkably good in the eyes of Nancy Grasmick and the state board members, some of whom breathed a sigh of relief. Mary Kay Finan, a board member, said, "The impact of the HSAs was not as detrimental as we thought it would be." Back in the fall, she said, it looked as though there were going to be 9,000 to 10,000 who weren't going to graduate.

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What still hasn't been revealed is the number of students who may have been overwhelmed by the process of passing the tests or doing the projects. Caught in a school that wasn't giving them encouragement or support, they may simply have decided not to come back over last summer.

Or maybe they just dropped out during this school year. And we also don't know whether the dropout rate will rise.

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I wonder if any of our regular readers know of students who haven't made it? How do they feel?

On the other hand, I would like to hear from teachers and principals about what they see as the next step in the process of making high school better for students.

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