ROSEVILLE (AP) -- More than 2,100 high school seniors learned Friday that they have yet to pass basic skills tests, a requirement for graduation.
Results released by the Department of Children, Families and Learning show that 1,551 of the 3,672 seniors who took the exams in February passed. All told, 65,000 students in the Class of 2000 have passed the tests, which are first administered in the eighth grade.
But 241 seniors still must pass the reading test, 1,451 need to pass the math test and 429 have to pass both. They will get a chance to retake the exams in April and July.
''I encourage our hard-working students, and the teachers who are helping them, to keep working until they succeed,'' said CFL Commissioner Christine Jax. ''Don't give up on yourselves, and we won't give up on you.''
Scores for non-seniors will be released in April.
More students are expected to pass the math tests this year because of a change in the way they are scored.
CFL officials said they made the change because this year's test was harder than those administered in previous years. In practical terms, students can pass this year's math test with fewer correct answers.
The new scoring system meant the difference between passing and failing the math test for 98 seniors.
''Because this is the first year that it is such high stakes for students, that's why we need to make sure that we are 100 percent accurate and that we're not denying a diploma to a student who deserves it,'' said Jesse Montano, an assistant education commissioner.
Officials switched from a raw score to a ''scaled score'' after assessing student performance on last month's test. A raw score is a percentage of correct answers, while a scaled score compares the level of difficulty of one test to another. So this year, students who got 47 out of 68 questions (69.1 percent) right will pass because 47 correct answers on last month's test demonstrates the same level of competence as 48 correct answers did on math tests in previous years.
The scaled-score method is commonly used on tests such as the SAT, the ACT and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Other states also use scaled scoring on their graduation tests.
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