MAY 30, 2005 -- Scores of students who graduated from North Carolina high schools this weekend have hit a milestone that their predecessors never reached. They've encountered more testing than any other generation of students in this state.
North Carolina was just beginning to administer end-of-grade tests in elementary schools when the class of 2005 entered kindergarten. When they were in fourth grade, the state implemented testing as a way to hold schools accountable for student learning. By the time they reached tenth grade, the federal government embarked on the No Child Left Behind program, another method of testing students and regulating schools.
The state's testing program has met both criticism and acclaim. The class of 2005 has performed better than previous classes on year-end testing in elementary and middle school. They also outshone earlier classes on high school English and algebra tests.
Some argue that the stress on testing has left schools lacking in other areas, and the state's graduation rate has not improved accordingly.