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Aug 05, 2016 04:40 AM EDT

New Jersey Board Of Education Implements Tougher Graduation Requirements

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The New Jersey Board of Education has adopted new and tougher graduation requirements. Now, students are expected to pass two standardized tests to be able to complete high school.

6ABC reported that the New Jersey Board of Education agreed to the new requirements last Wednesday. Students will now have to pass the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in Algebra 1 and 10th-grade English language arts to be eligible to graduate from high school.

The new requirement will take effect on students entering eighth grade this fall. These are the high school class of 2021.

This comes after the New Jersey Board of Education officials announced that a higher percentage of students were able to meet or exceed expectations on the tests. There are some, though, who opposed the new requirement. Others even boycotted the test.

According to The New York Times, 44 percent of students across the state were able to pass the English exam while 41 percent passed Algebra 1. With the new rules, those who are unable to pass can still graduate if a portfolio review of other work is approved.

"We believe Parcc is the best test out there and that it is aligned in the best way to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in math and language arts," Mark W. Biedron, president of the New Jersey Board of Education, said. "It gives you a great measure of college and career readiness."

Education World noted that the New Jersey Board of Education officials are facing backlash for the addition of exit exams as a graduation requirement. Opponents of the new requirement believe that it's too much of a "one-size-fits-all" approach. There are concerns that many students and families would be left without other options.

There are several states that have chosen to get rid of test scores as graduation requirements. This is because of the negative impact on graduation rates. Currently, there are only 15 states that require students to pass tests in order to graduate.

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