December 13, 2003
" The HSQE has refocused our educational system for the better," says Sen. Guess "the exam ensures our graduates can read, write, and compute to a set standard. Yet, the question for all of us this year is whether one test should determine if a student meets the standards, regardless of passing all district requirements."
With this approach, students are rewarded for passing their high school requirements but an employer or higher education institution can also look beyond the diploma to see individual proficiencies. Senator Guess brought the proposal to the Bartlett parent advisory board last week. Parent and local businessman Marc Marlow is in favor of the new alternative.
"I don't think you should base a diploma on one test," says Anchorage business developer Marc Marlow. "One test does not give an employer a full picture of an applicant. A person's ability, character, initiative, and work ethic are just as important and you can't put those things on a test."
The focus and intent of the HSQE will remain the same: a high school diploma should mean something to employers, higher educational institutions, and the community. Senator Guess' approach, however, will recognize the need to empower our students to gain the skills and confidence necessary to lead productive lives.
Former State Board of Education
member Paula Pawlowski agrees. "Putting roadblocks in the
way of getting a diploma is not acceptable," says Pawlowski.
"One test should not determine a child's success in life."
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