Students who speak English as second language will be on 5-year plan
Georgia high school students who have to learn English as well as keep up in classes will get an extra year to graduate, a change that could benefit Clarke County's graduation rate.
The new rule will allow students designated as "English language learners" to take a fifth year before they must complete their classes and pass five standardized graduation tests necessary to receive a diploma....
Generally, students who don't pass all the graduation tests - in English, writing, math, science and social studies - by the end of their fourth year in high school but who have completed all their classes receive a "certificate of attendance" instead of a diploma and count against their school's graduation rate. The new rule would mean students learning English wouldn't count against the graduation rate unless they couldn't pass the tests within the extra, fifth year.
"This will help us significantly," said Maxine Easom, principal of Clarke Central High School, where 14 percent of the student population is Latino and many are part of the school's classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages. "If you can't speak English, you can't pass the science graduation test." ...
Clarke County's graduation rate has hovered around 50 percent in recent years....
A jump in the graduation rate for the Class of 2005 pulled the most recent
school year's rate above 60 percent districtwide. Clarke Central's rate rose to
almost 57 percent, while Cedar Shoals High School's rate jumped to about 65 percent.
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