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State offers emergency exams to seniors

Reported by: Robert Byers
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Updated: 5/17/2013 5:06 pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Emergency exams, part of the Mississippi Subject Area Testing Program, are being administered through Mississippi State University.

Since Thursday and Friday hundreds of students from around the state have been in Starkville to take exams in one of four subject areas.

They include algebra, biology, U.S. history and English.

We saw buses arriving from around the state on Friday.

The mother of a Brandon student whose child did not pass a portion of the test to graduate says she's frustrated with this requirement.

Iris Villaion said, "Something needs to change. These students need to get their education. It's not fair they complete all their credits and we leave them to fin for themselves. I don't think that's a good option for our children."

We talked with Starkville's Superintendent of Education Dr. Lewis Holloway.

He says most of those who've failed have done so after taking a newer, more difficult version of the history exam.

Holloway says school districts have provided multiple options to help the students pass.

Holloway said, "Keep in mind since the 11th grade they've had seven opportunities to take this test. They've also been provided with remediation. They've had counseling with their school counselor. They've had an improvement plan set up to where they could work toward passing this online. There's been a lot to help these students already."

Holloway goes on to say he understands why some parents and students are not happy with these graduation requirements.

Holloway said, "We are human beings. There needs to be a human being element and not just a scan sheet. That would be the way I lean but that's not the state law and accountability laws that exist now."

Depending on the day a student's graduation ceremony is set is when he or she comes to Starkville to take the test.

The emergency tests are for seniors who have completed all graduation requirements with the exception of passing one subject area exam.
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