TAKS Failure Blocks 40,000 Seniors from Graduating

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16 percent of Texas high school seniors won't graduate this spring because they failed at least one of the state's required exit-level exams.

That's according to the Texas Education Agency, which says a
record high 40,182 students from the Class of 2007 failed all or
part of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills graduation
exams. The tests cover math, science, social studies and English.

The students first take the exams during their junior year and have five opportunities to pass. Overall, 84 percent of seniors passed all four of the graduation exams.

Black and Hispanic students struggled at the highest rate, with 28 percent of black students and 24 percent of Hispanic students
failing at least one exam. Eight percent of white students and seven
percent of Asian students failed at least one exam.

About three million Texas students in grades three through 11 took TAKS exams this spring. Statewide, 70 percent of students
passed all tests taken, up from 64 percent last year.