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High School Exit Exam Raises Many Questions

March 12, 2003

Re "Ease Up on Exit Exams," editorial, March 8: To answer your question, "Is a student really unqualified for a diploma if he says, 'That's not good for you and I' ... ?" I respond with a resounding, "Yes, yes and yes!"

Are you permitting incorrect common usage to determine what is acceptable? Surely the schools (and newspapers of record) need to provide the standards of language. Communication is key to success in the workplace, and the gradual chipping away at the tools for communication will help no graduate as he or she attempts to try for the better jobs; in fact, it will widen the chasm between the educated and the noneducated.

Jan Winning

West Hills

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Me and my friend was reading the editorial in Saterdays Times about schools testing and exit exams being too tough on grammer testing, us have to agree that us being grammatical isn't needed to get a good job. It says rightly that schools shud ease up. They shud ease up on speling to. When we says, "wood you like to supersize it," us knows we have a good job and carear.

Jim Rupp

Lakewood

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During my struggling two hours taking the high school exit exam, I strained from problem to problem, trying to decipher the hidden meaning in the questions that would unlock the answer. After all, who was this mysterious Stephanie, and what were her reading habits? What kind of balls were in the bag, and how big was the bag that was holding them? What type of musician would be playing a waltz for Wendy and her husband? And who would ever understand the nutritional connection between supplements and insurance? Most important, how would these questions ever help in life? Had simple arithmetic, grammar and logic become so necessary and important to survive in our modern world?

Seriously, the exit exam is not as taxing as everyone makes it out to be; I took less than a quarter of the allotted time to finish it. However, the results, showing roughly a 50% failure rate, present a bleak, foreboding picture. Instead of criticizing the exam, let's take a closer look at the origin of these depressing results: the school system. The product of unequipped schools is simply, for lack of a better phrase, stupid kids. Rather than "killing the messenger," let's all do something about the problem instead.

Michael Chung

Arcadia

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