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Word Count: 892
Theres a growing trend within the educational system in America often going unnoticed by the mainstream populace An increasing number of students are failing to meet the minimum skills required in order to graduate High School This problem was sent to the forefront 5 years ago when students from forty industrialized countries took an international placement test Fourth eighth and twelfth grade students across the country were tested in four subjects general mathematics general science advanced mathematics and physics The results were astonishing The US was ranked at or near the bottom in each of the curricula The general mathematics scores by high school seniors were lower than all but two countries Cyprus and South Africa In physics and advanced mathematics American students failed miserably Their scores placed them dead last in relation to the other countries tested At one time America was the world leader in the advances of technology service and industry However the steady decline in education has taken its toll and allowed other countries to leave us wading in their vast pools of knowledge But what do we do about it One solution is to require students to pass a minimum proficiency test in order to graduate High School This will require teachers and students to hold themselves accountable for what they accomplish throughout their respective school years It gives parents a positive assessment of their childs ability and gets them involved in their education It also gives schools a tangible way to evaluate their teaching methods First administered in 1990 the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills TAAS exams are required to be taken by third through eighth graders in the subjects of reading writing math science and social studies High school students must pass reading writing and math tests Texas officials boast that since 1994 scores have risen by 27 and the number of students who have taken the SAT and advanced college placement tests have risen dramatically Jesness
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